He was now tired and sitting beneath the banyan tree. As he made himself comfortable, he smiled to himself. The banyan tree — the Enlightened One had once sat under such a tree where he saw the light; the truth.
He often thought about the light — the light that he seemed to recognise, yet failed to perceive. It was an elusive light, he sensed it all the time, yet could never see it. He closed his eyes to the dark, breathed slowly to help his tired muscles find their own position of rest. He had walked long – it may have been a short journey if you used time as the measure, but a better measure of a journey was the experience, the events. Nothing and no one had followed him in the journey – nothing and no one had walked along with him in the journey. He met many — the trees – tall and short, the birds – colourful and bland, the grass – green and golden. Each made his journey pleasurable in their unique ways, yet no one walked with him.
He knew now that love was something that you didn’t carry with you – it was something you left behind. His tired heart made a desperate attempt to let go of the love and leave it behind. Every time he felt the absence of those whom he met when he travelled, he felt anguish and wished for them to be there: the trees, birds, and the grass.
When he opened his eyes, he saw that there was nothing – not the trees, not the birds, not the grass. He was alone now, looking ahead at the barren land. He had an urge to look back at his friends – but he cautioned himself. He had to move to the mountains. He had heard that only they were permanent. By such a brute force of nature they had formed – that nothing could ever break the apart. That was the ultimate meeting of souls. That was the only love that remained in the place – no wonder then, every monk, hermit, and saint had found refuge in these mountains. The mountains were all-forgiving and all-knowing; full of love of the ages for all that chose an abode in them. As difficult as they were to get to, they were the only place he felt welcome.
He was destined to walk his path alone – to find his path for himself. He bid farewell to those he loved – hoping that they always felt the love that he left behind; hoping that they felt the same permanence that he felt inside of him.
On the empty land he walked, then, towards the mountains far away.