This story is for my sons Sohaib, Momin, Musa, Talha and anyone struggling in their life and can’t seem to find a way out. May you see the light of happiness sooner than later.
Once upon a time, a grand tree stood tall and wide in a Jungle. Its trunk was a massive pillar holding on to a thousand branches and it had seen the times and ages spanning hundreds of years. So much had come and gone but it was still there, providing sanctuary to the nesting birds and shade for the travelers. Its fruit nourished both humans and animals and it kept serving everyone without a word of gratitude for its services. However, a life of thankfulness made him stand there faring the tests of times. Once while the flowers were at the peak of their bloom, their aroma intoxicating the crisp environment, the big tree spoke up. It spoke to all the flowers about to be plucked by nature with the winds cradling them to far off places for life to continue for generations.
The tiny seeds protected safely in the flower buds spoke up and told the grand tree that they were terrified, that they never imagined a life without the protection and anchor that made them so secure. Now suddenly taking off in the unknown was nothing more than a travesty. The grand tree spoke gently to them and caressed the branches where the flowers were swinging in the breeze. The only way for them to grow and be great was to leave their abode and face the challenges that would come their way; a lot of challenges are to be handled if one needs to grow. Staying at the tree was not an option and if it tries to stay near him then the small seed would rot as the branches of the grand tree won’t let the nourishing sunlight come through its branches; there would be no growth without the severe winds of adversity. And with that, it shrugged and the flowers, taking the little seeds went on different paths.
One little pod burst open after swaying in the winds for a few days and the little seeds got scattered around the ground. Some were eaten by the chirping birds and others got buried under the soil, pushed in by the moving animals. A few of these little guys got pushed in together and were scared to imagine their unforeseen future. One little seed cried out calling the grand tree to help and was the most talkative, he kept pleading to an unseen force to save him from this agony and to redeem him. The others got quieter and quieter waiting for their soon to be demise. The chatty little seed kept yelling and crying but no one would listen to him. His shrieks would get buried in the hallows of the soil and one after another he couldn’t even feel the presence of his friends.
The dark feeling of depression kicked in and with that, he could also feel that his surroundings were getting excruciatingly suffocating, it was humid and damp and it was making his physical and mental status come to a breaking point. He cried and prayed to God to help him, he yelled and called the grand tree but there was no help. Was there no one listening to him? What was wrong? He had seen the better when he was born and the beautiful plans of nature around him. He saw the magnificence of creation right in front of his eyes and was in a deep conviction that there was a master planner somewhere hidden orchestrating this whole gamut. The birds, animals, trees, breeze, sun, stars, moon and the several animals and humans strolling around were a manifestation of someone much larger than life. He used to pray out loud in ecstasy but it was all gone now, all gone in this darkness that was pounding his chest with a sledgehammer.
The darkness, damp surroundings, cracking sounds became unbearable and maybe it was all the reason to give up. After all his friends had decided to do the same and they had most likely turned into dust but somewhere down in its spirit a dim sound kept telling him to keep going on. Where to? He would ask this voice in its darkest moment where to go? What is there to look forward to and this is where the voice stopped? There weren’t any answers when you would speak to it but once you were there at the last thread it asked you to move on, just a few steps.
Then one day, the earth slowly cracked above him and he saw a bleak ray of light. He was uplifted and told the soil to move away, I want to go out and breath. The soil surrounded him and told him to call out the magic word, the little seed thought the soil was joking. The soil again asked the seed to say the magic words. Let me get out of here okay; well these are very rude words said the soil, think hard and say the words. For God’s sake get me out of this living hell, I beg you to help stop my pain. Well, this is not the words that would help you no matter how many times you say it said the soil. And then it remembered the grand tree and the success of its longevity, it cried out loud to the soil “thank you”, thank you for providing me this opportunity to break free of my torment, thank you for helping me grow beyond my capacity and as it said that he could see that a little root had taken space in the soil and a tiny leaf was now popping out its head as well. All the pain, depression, agony and darkness were there for its growth. Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God thank you, God, thank you soil for helping me out and as soon as these words were uttered the big chunks of caked soil gave way to the frail and tiny leaf to go pass and stand in the grandness of the land. The little seed was in the light with its roots firmly fixed to the soil.
The earth now called out to the sun and ordered it to be gentle with the heat, it called the wind to be a breeze not to hurt the little plant, the water to drizzle and not pour to make sure that the new one is not washed away. The elements were now there to help it grow, the same elements that it once thought were against it were now its biggest support. There were still many years and decades for the little seed to turn into the grand tree but the only thing that kept it going throughout the many seasons was gratitude and thankfulness.
So the next time you are feeling down, take a walk down the lane and look at the beautiful trees, all lined up with calm and serenity. Make sure you put your smart phone down though. All these trees had been seeds a long time ago and they went through the trials and tribulations of time to now stand and tell us to be strong; it would all work out.
Sometimes in life we feel that nothing is working out, everything we do is going in the wrong direction, that God has no plan for us but little do we know that the stress and the pain we are going through are helping us grow and soon, one of these days we would see the sunlight and all would be well. There is, however, one condition, we have to be sincere and honest in our approach to life.
God bring you acquainted with some storm!
No billow in your sea break in foam,
Kazi Najib Ashraf likes to call himself a storyteller and is a Tech and Management Blogger who loves chatting with people making a difference and bringing a positive change in this chaotic world. He can be reached at [email protected]
or you can read his stories at www.kazinajibashraf.com