Part Five: Where are they now?
Rafael, now a wise old grandfather, closed the book he’d been reading and looked affectionately down at his granddaughter. “And that, my sweet angel, is the glorious story of how four great saints came upon our beautiful and peaceful village that we call Blue Mountain Oasis.
“Grandpa, that’s not fair! You can’t end the story like this! What became of the four interfaith wanderers?”
“Alright, my sweet angel. I’ll indulge your curious spirit! But after I fill in what happened to each inspiring soul, you must agree to go to bed right after. Deal?”
“OK, very well. Aside from all their substantial contributions as farmers, each went on to offer something that transformed the humble village into a world-renowned centre for spiritual growth and self-discovery.
“Zabreen, the soft-spoken Sufi, went on to become a beautiful poet and teacher of Sufi dancing, a moving form of group worship that promotes inner peace and harmony. Over the course of two decades, people from all the surrounding communities came to learn this art form from him.
“Elohi, the proud Cherokee, became a great painter and the village’s herbalist. Like Zabreen with his Sufi dancing, she was known all across the mountains for her unique abilities. Many people witnessed her miraculous healings, and some, including her own patients, claim that her sublime union with the Earth allowed her to perform such wonders.
“Anju, the wise Hindu sage, became a highly revered and sought-after meditation teacher in these parts. Her knowledge of formal meditation methods was combined with musical performances of traditional devotional mantras and the telling of great epics from her faith. This type of spiritual art is known as Kirtan. Sweet angel, let me tell you, sometimes we would chant and break into ecstatic dances that went all through the night! Am I missing anyone else?”
“Of course, my rose petal, how could I forget Donovan, the original solitary wanderer! Donovan, the passionate follower of Christ, went on to follow the example of his great role model. Donovan became an expert woodworker and carpenter. He also became the lead architect and builder for much of the eco-conscious housing within this community and those afar.
“Aside from that, Donovan became a devoted messenger of sorts for the community—travelling on many journeys to nearby villages to share our message of peace and establish grassroots trade and bartering. Donovan was beloved by all in these mountains for his love, humility and generosity. And that completes the story, my sweet angel.”
“Grandpa, one more thing before I go to bed.”
“Where are these great saints now?
“After spending nearly two inspiring decades in this village, one day they all decided that the time had come for them to leave and wander to distant lands, on a search for more survivors. And so, the community organized a great celebration of their departure that lasted for three days. Then, the village sent them off with tears of love for all they’d given to the community. All, I should point out, were also highly revered by our villagers for their wise counsel during times of personal suffering or misfortune.”
With tears in her eyes, the young granddaughter asked her grandfather and beloved village elder one final question:
“Why did these four glorious beings decide to leave us?”
“Out of personal sacrifice, my sweet angel. They each had a burning desire to spread the word of Oneness across the land. These great souls had one goal in mind, and that was to let everyone know the importance of keeping their faith and never ever giving up hope.”