Welcome, old friends and new who may be visiting from the Waldorf Connection Global Expo! As promised, here is the story, “Harmonia“, which goes along with the “Dynamic Mothering with the Four Humours” talk airing on Saturday, May 16, 2015.
I had been searching the universe, an endless spirit in an endless realm, not knowing what I was looking for. But I would know it when I found it. For a while now, I had been catching faint vibrations of an impulse, a calling. I couldn’t hear it very clearly until this moment.
I listened, and heard the call for someone to bring a very special gift to mankind- a seed that would grow and blossom and produce a fruit that would nourish a part of humanity that was greatly diminished. I felt the tingle of my inner knowing- I would be this person.
And so, the day came when I crossed the threshold and the whirring, spinning energetic gift I clutched tightly, crossed with me. When I opened my clenched hand on the other side, now clothed in skin, I held only a tiny, inconspicuous seed.
I looked around me, and saw that I was surrounded by four very different landscapes. To the north stretched a vast sea, dotted with distant islands. To the south, the sun beat down on what would have been a mostly dry, parched land if not for the exceptionally engineered irrigation systems that fed crop lands and a network of oasis-like cities sprouting up along a wide, winding river. To the east, all that could be seen was a vast plain where tall grasses continually rippled in the wind with movement like waves. In the west rose hills and mountains with great, cavernous stone mouths.
I planted the seed. I watered it. I waited. But day after day, week after week, nothing happened. I became discouraged. Could I have been wrong about accepting this mission? Would some other spirit have been more capable, more ‘chosen’?
And then, from the windy plains, came the tinkling of a gentle, joyful, breathless laugh. A child- now running, now skipping, now stopping to smell the the wildflowers, now stumbling and being whisked up, it seemed, by the breeze itself- arrived like the wind, in bursts and gusts. When she reached me, she smiled and threw her arms around my waist, hugging me. She was neither tall nor short, small or big- and her eyes were what stood out most, they were lively and sparkling. She pressed a light-as-air package wrapped in yellow silk into my hands.
“My people are an energetic, creative, and accepting society who deeply value communication, arts, and entertainment. We are quick to forgive and have already forgotten what gave rise to the rifts between our neighbors and ourselves, and condemned our people- once sought after merchants and tradespeople- to be unwelcome outside our own borders. I dreamed you came to help us create peace amongst ourselves, and I have come to help you. Please accept my gift.”
The girl pressed the package into my hands, then ran back along the path from which she came, until finally tall, rippling grasses swallowed her back up. I removed the cloth and opened the box, and out fluttered a bright yellow butterfly. The butterfly circled around me gently for a few minutes, then it hovered above the ground where I had planted the seed what seemed like ages ago. As the butterfly’s wings flapped and flapped, the air all around warmed and rushed to encircle me. The discouragement I had felt faded, and I was filled with hope and renewed conviction that I was indeed on the correct path. I felt very, very alive, and then I felt very, very tired. When I awoke, the seed’s hard outer coating had softened and allowed a shoot to poke up from the ground. I cried with joy and relief and told every creature who came near, what happened and showed them the beautiful sprout.
At first I was so attentive- I barely left except to get water for the seedling. But soon the beauty of the world around me and all the other warming, shooting up plants- for my seedling was not the only one to have woken up- distracted me and I returned to my sprout one day to find it drooping and choked with weeds. How could I have been so forgetful and failed to take better care of it? I began to cry, and my tears watered the soil and the little plant was no longer withered. I practiced being a faithful caretaker, but my plant’s growth had begun to slow and I wondered if perhaps in my zeal to correct my mistakes, I had overwatered it. Once again, discouragement seeped in.
It was then that a young man came forward from the southern lands. His body was short and compact, as if he had been formed to precise specifications to meet maximum efficiency, limbs placed exactly where they could, in as short a time as possible, receive the maximum amount of circulation possible. He strode purposefully towards me and extended his hand to offer a firm handshake.
“My society has heard the stories of your coming. We are a strong, determined, and productive nation who work hard to make the south lands thrive and squeeze every bit of crop capacity from lands that were once almost desert. We are skilled hunters and we have a strong military full of trained warriors. My leader has begun to talk of conquering other lands. I am not afraid of war, but my grandfather tells me of a time in our history when all four nations worked together and trade flourished, and we were even stronger then, than we are now. I dreamed you came to help us create peace amongst ourselves, and I have come to help you. Please accept my gift.”
The man handed me a tightly wrapped, warm-to-the-touch package wrapped in leather with red and black markings on it. As quickly and purposefully as he had come, he left.
I opened the gift, and inside the leather was a metal box which held a single, smoldering coal. The yellow butterfly returned and began to flutter her wings gently, fanning the coal until it burst into flame. As the flame grew, the hot summer sun lifted high in the sky and heated the soil around the young plant. The plant responded to the heat almost immediately, and began to grow taller and taller at a remarkable rate, basking in the heat and stretching towards the sun, the first evidence of fruits emerging from pollinated blossoms. I worked steadfastly to keep the flame burning steadily, and as I thought of the south lands from where the flame originated, I decided that I, too would engineer an irrigation channel from the nearby watering pool.
Perhaps I was over-zealous, because soon the flame was burning unbearably hot. My plant leaf tips began to show scorching, and the irrigation channel had diverted so much water that there was not enough left for the animals who frequented the pool. I felt angry that things were not going smoothly, even though I knew it was my own fault for being a little too ambitious. And that is when the woman from the west came.
She was older than the young man from the south, with a hint of gray touching her dark hair. She was very tall like the mountains she hailed from that reached for the heavens, but her shoulders pulled downwards as if she was used to bearing heavy loads. Her footsteps were heavy, but she picked her way through the rocks with conscious expertise.
“My clan have made the hills and mountains our home. We are a very proficient, structured society with a strong sense of justice. Our religious leaders, scientists, doctors, and musicians used to be highly regarded in all the lands, and we were known for our charitable aid and humanitarian efforts to anyone in need. In recent times, however, we have been weighed down by the many rules of our leading council, which dictate how even the smallest of actions must be performed and do not allow for change, keeping our progress stagnant. We need renewal, and we need to return to helping others instead of being enclosed within our own boundaries. I dreamed you came to help us create peace amongst ourselves, and I have come to help you. Please accept my gift.”
She handed me a package wrapped in green linen which was surprisingly heavy for its small size. I thanked her, and she returned the way she had come.
I opened the cloth and found a beautiful, clear crystal. Again the butterfly came and flapped its wings gently, and the crystal began to pulse with light. As it pulsed, it seemed to drink up the flame’s out of control energy until the heat lessened and reduced it to a comfortable glow. I felt calm, rational, and filled with understanding. I began to work to restore the habitat I had disrupted earlier, and when order had been restored I worked to create a beautiful garden around the plant, with walkways and paths lined with shrubbery, a gazebo to shelter people and a small chapel- never forgetting to tend to my plant. But as I delved deeply into my new work, little things that never would have bothered me before became intensely upsetting. The crystal cooled and became dark, and I became critical of myself and everything around me. My plant was now weighed down with heavy, beautiful fruit, but instead of delighting in it, all I could do was worry about if the stalks would hold up or someone would try to steal the fruit before it was ripe to perfection.
Now, from the shore of the northern island-speckled sea came an old man, slowly. For a while, he was silent and I wondered if he was going to speak at all. When he did, it was as if his mouth had rusted with disuse and he had to put forth great effort into prying his jaw open to form his thoughts into audible words.
“My people once came and went with the flow of the ocean, but for many years now we have kept to ourselves and avoided the others. The stories that were passed down say that conflicts developed between the four lands, and our leader refused be involved decided it would be best to isolate our nation from strife and any potential war. We are a peace-loving, stable society with rich traditions that we love and follow religiously. Our ranks are filled with farmers, fishermen, skilled craftsmen, and patient teachers. But without the possibility of trade or interaction with the other lands, we have become unmotivated and unproductive. It does not feel right to me, and I worry about the future of my grandchildren. I dreamed you came to help us create peace amongst ourselves, and I have come to help you. Please accept my gift.” He handed me a bundle wrapped in blue wool cloth and, contented to have accomplished his mission, he turned away and shuffled back to the sea as I called out my thanks.
I opened the gift and it contained a vial of liquid, clear as the crystal. I felt as if I could hear the old man whispering, urging me to pour the water on the crystal. I opened the vial, poured the water on the crystal, and it transformed from cloudy and dark to clear and bright again. The butterfly flapped her wings, and the flame grew brighter and evaporated the water into a mist that filled the garden. The cool mist became cooler and cooler. Every day, the garden was cooler than it had been before and soon the fruit was perfectly ripe and ready to be picked.
I worked hard to harvest every last bit, and when I had finished, I rested and felt at total peace. The girl of the plains came back, driven by intense curiosity to see how the plant had turned out. She was delighted when I shared the ripe fruit with her, and I asked her to send messengers to each of the nations to summon them, which she gladly agreed to. Soon representatives from each land came to me to receive a portion of the delicious fruit. As they ate and marvelled at the delicious fruit, they began to talk amongst themselves and forge new bonds.
That was the beginning of a new time for humanity. The garden was named after me- Harmonia- and became a center for diplomacy amongst the four nations. The roots of my plant reached deep and far and extended to the borders of each nation. Harmonia is that place in the center where all people come together to be whole, and where every good fruit is cultivated, shared, and enjoyed.