It is my firm belief that we are all pilgrims on the earth—that we are all trying to find our way back to our heavenly home. And I believe that scriptures, great literature, and inspiring words are the maps we are to use on our journey.
For me, reading and writing have been life-changing agents; scriptures and stories are powerful tools to help me move forward. Time and time again, I have learned that, while medicines can heal the body, inspirational words can heal the soul. Inspired words are like guideposts, markers, or constellations that show us the way home.
There is an ancient legend that tells of a people who built their community at the base of a sacred mountain. It was believed that this mountain was the gateway to heaven and, as such, members of the community would carry their dying loved ones up the mountain and remain with them until they passed on. It was their way of giving their loved ones to the gods.
One day, a young man was carrying his elderly father to the top of the mountain. His father was very sick and frail. Yet, as they climbed, the old man would reach out and grab handfuls of branches and leaves from the nearby trees, and drop them on the ground.
About halfway up the mountain, the young man stopped and asked his father why he was dropping branches and leaves on the ground. Tears streamed down the old man’s face as he replied, “Son, when I die, I want you to find your way home.”
I think great stories and literature are like branches on our path. Our wise ancestors (and those who have gone before us) have left these stories for us so that we could find our way home—so that we could move forward.