The Hilltop Waterfall

  The man’s bare feet had grown tough like well-worn leather through his years of walking the rough road to nowhere. His boots had eroded years ago, he had no need for them now though, and his feet were tougher than boots.


  From deserts to tundra, the old man had shuffled along at his own pace, his life only as good as the ground he walked on. His face had become marked with scars and smeared with discolorations that made him look more like a patchwork doll than a man still in his middle ages.


  He had forgotten his name years ago, a word that lost its meaning when nobody spoke to him, he lived off the land…and someday, the land would live off him. He breathed in a lungful of fresh morning air and smiled as flocks of birds ducked and weaved between the low clouds that threatened to crash down into the treetops.


  Each rise in the rippled dirt road pushed between his crinkled toes, and only the odd mound of delicious green grass would relieve his feet on its cushion. It was while he was walking this rough road that he heard a scratching beat behind him; he turned his head and saw a small child following fifty or so paces behind him. The child was alone, but a lone child was not unusual in these parts, so the man carried on without second thought.


  However, that night as the sun retreated below the rolling hills and gave way to a velvet night sky, textured by a million shining gems, he looked behind him again. The child was still following him, though it staggered with fatigue, as if reluctant to loose sight of the man.


  He stopped, turning round to face the child who seemed no older than nine years of age.


“Where are we going?” The child muttered in a semi-conscious state.

“We?” The man growled in a voice, which sounded ravaged by a thousand storms.


  The child spoke no more, instead it flopped down onto the floor in a hunched sitting position, rubbing its fingers through its head of shaggy dark hair, much like the old mans’.


 The man sighed “What are you doing out here”

“My mum didn’t wake up, so I tried to go home…but the door is locked and I can’t get in, so I walked away,” The child muttered.


  The toughened man felt hot prickles in his eyes, touched by how such an innocent child could have such wrong done to it for no good reason. Would he ever understand this injustice, would he ever understand the world? This is what he walked for…he searched for the Hilltop waterfall.


“Then come with me, come with me to find your spirit…and find the answer to everything, to find the waterfall.” The old man said in a tone of optimistic wisdom.


“Where is it?” The child said with eyes that showed naivety.


“Well, me and my dad began to search for the waterfall, my granddad had told him that the Hilltop Waterfall was somewhere beneath the stars. My father and me walked for twenty years in search of the waterfall but my father passed away, so I carried on the search. He said that the waters could allow a meditating spirit to reach true enlightenment.” The man said, trailing off and finishing the speech inside his own mind.


  The child swayed and fell onto its back, fast asleep, followed shortly by the man. The two slept under the stars that night, open to the elements, and the child began to open its mind to all.




  Ten years on and the two men sat in meditation under a flowering tree while they watched the sun set in a golden haze, surrounded by bronze clouds and the silhouettes of night birds coming out of their roosts.


  For the first time in a decade, the boy of nineteen asked a question “You talk about energy when we meditate, what is this energy?”


“What is it?” The man said in a voice full of gravel “I suppose it is the power that changes us, the power that can heal or destroy us…the song inside of us that only we can hear. Not even the true masters of meditation understand it; we just acknowledge its existence. When we reach the Hilltop Waterfall, we will find it.”


  The boy closed his eyes and reached deep within his mind in thought, knowing that someday he would understand the old man’s words of wisdom. Each day they

finished their walk earlier, the old man finding it harder to keep up with the constant grind. He was aware that someday he would pass away, and become part of the trees he meditated under, and one with the falling blossom that falls to rest on his shoulder.

“When we find the Waterfall” The young one began “We must show it to everyone, so they can become enlightened.”


“Alas, we cannot “ The old man sighed “It is in the nature of man…once they see it they will cut each other for a place by the waterfall, until their blood taints the water. The Waterfall is the source of the world, once the most powerful among men sense its destruction they will fight the other man for their right to call it their own…and destroy it and themselves in the process.”


“So…It’s hopeless, man is doomed to it’s self inflicted decline” He said, staring out to the sunset, sampling a natural beauty so far away that man could not destroy it.

“Yes, and no. More will find their way to the waterfall, the ones that do will last longer than the fools who destroy themselves…until the enlightened are all that is left. They will drink from the source of the world and return the world to natural balance.”


  The young man smiled and nodded, meeting the warm yet haggard eyes of his partner. As their conversation ended, silence began…broken only by brief chirps of birds above them.




  Another decade past and under the glimmering stars the man sat, hunched over the elderly Wiseman who whispered in a tight rasp. As the man bent his head to listen, he could look out to the horizon and see the stars, always so close to the clue but so far from the treasure.


“I will take a nap now, if I fail to wake…move on and search for the waterfall.” He said, his gravelled voice now a rasp broken by brief croaking coughs.

“Fear not, my old friend.” he whispered to the elderly.


  The old master closed his eyes and over time…heaved a final breath and fell still.

“All that wisdom, gone in one breath” The man said in despair to the air around him “Though, he passed all of his wisdom onto me…it never left this world. It just flowed down from him into me, like the waterfall.”


  The young man stood up and his voice became loud in realisation.

“Our wisdom, is in this world…it is now, it is under the stars. The waterfall is the wisdom of our masters…he spent so long searching for the waterfall, that he gathered each droplet of wisdom…until he became the waterfall himself. Now, I’m the waterfall…I’m the vessel that the river of life and wisdom flows from, feeding the world and bringing it to enlightenment. For twenty years I meditated beside the waterfall, and reached enlightenment. Rest peacefully my friend, I will carry on…I will make the waters stronger.”


  The man set off down the road to nowhere…searching for the pearly droplets of wisdom. The waters of the Hilltop Waterfall flowed from his mouth and his hands…bringing life in everything he said and touched.


  The waterfall found that lost little boy, through the old man who searched for it all his life…and so the cycle continued through generations…keeping the wise alive and strong until the end of time.



One Response

  1. Some very nice writing m’boy!

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