WHY WE EXIST.

 

There once thrived a beautiful field beyond a small village, just past the Volcano of Pallin, but the only way to reach this field was to traverse over the bridge that hung above its lava. A slight danger, to be sure, but the reward was worth the risk: hot springs vegetated throughout the field, exquisite ripe berries birthed from the lush plants surrounding the field’s outskirt, and a majestic tree in the center of the field dripped a sap so thick and rich that a quick dribble on the tongue could convince you that a world-renowned chef had personally baked you one of his delectable desserts.

But just as Venice sinks into the ocean bit-by-bit each year, so rises the Volcano of Pallin’s magma each year. After generations of sustainability, one of the village’s greatest fears came true: the lava had risen so high that the bridge began to burn.

Moments after a villager noticed the small flames starting to appear, the entirety of the village had crossed over the Volcano of Pallin and overtook the beautiful field to enjoy its pleasures one last fleeting time.

Women frantically bottled the succulent sap while children stuffed luscious berries in their pockets, and old men tore their clothes off as they rushed to take one final bath in the cleansing hot spring.

But what was the best use of the beautiful field’s dying moments? Did I want to enjoy one last banquet of the succulent sap or did I want to gather as many luscious berries as my pockets fit or did I want to appreciate the warmth of the cleansing springs?

I wanted it all. Yes, I wanted to enjoy the succulent sap and I wanted to gather the luscious berries and I wanted to appreciate the warmth of the cleansing springs, and I didn’t want to compromise, no! I didn’t want to compromise any of it.

So, I sat under the tree and started writing. I considered all the villagers’ frantic behavior, but I did not panic. I simply wrote. I wrote of the succulent sap; I wrote of the luscious berries; I wrote of the cleansing hot springs.

Only when most of the villagers had cleared out and when I knew I could stay no longer, I rose from the field and marched across the bridge. I marched into the smoke. I marched through the flames. And through it all, the field beyond the Volcano of Pallin marched with me.

Upon reaching the village, the bridge collapsed into the volcano, condemning the field to an eventual decay into slag. Oh, how the villagers lamented this loss – all of the villagers, save for one. I knew not to mourn, for I had carried the field past the burning bridge. And I shared the field with all. I shared the succulent sap; I shared the luscious berries; I shared the cleansing hot springs.

The beautiful field beyond our small village and just past the Volcano of Pallin lives on to this day, and will live on long after I have succumbed to life’s flames as did once the burning bridge.