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     Once Upon a Mountain

© Susan A. Dallmann R.N., R.M.T., C.H.

 If you like, I will tell you a story now; a story that your heart will know as true. This is not my story, per se; rather, a legend of the Yoruba peoples of Nigeria. And, because a legend talks to the heart, I wonít  attempt to analyze it or even explain it.

 So, with all my love, I give you the story of Obatala who was, at this particular time in his life, having many difficulties. Everything that could go wrong, did. Money was scarce. He barely had enough to put food into his own mouth, let alone feed a family. His health was failing. Well, no need to go on; you can imagine the rest.

 He saw no way out of his dismal situation and, in total desperation, went to the foot of a mountain and began to pray. You see, mountains are considered holy places. He prayed ardently, fervently. The tears of anguish and frustration began to flow, and he felt so very alone. He even thought that God had forgotten him.

 Well, after a short while (it seemed like an eternity to poor Obatala), he heard someone calling his name. Looking up, he saw a beautiful vision. It was Olofin (God) surrounded by  a brilliant aura of pure white light atop the mountain.

 "Obatala," said Olofin, "come here to me, my son, and I will help you." "Oh, I canít," cried Obatala. "The  mountain is so high, and I am so tired from all my problems which have drained me so."
 "I know, Obatala," replied Olofin. " I know you are tired, my child; but just take a step or two. Come, I will help you," and he reached out his hand to Obatala.
 As it happened, his hand was just out of reach; but Obatala felt the warmth and kindness of Olofin and took just one step, then another, and then another.

 The journey was difficult and sometimes he slipped backward, but he would find a rock to hold onto, or a tree for support. And, or course, a word or two of encouragement from Olofin, his divine  Source.

 Before too long (of course it still seemed like an eternity to Obatala), he realized he had gotten pretty high up and he noticed his fatigue was increasing some. He decided that he wanted to rest and look around, but Olofin again urges him forward.

 Well, Obatala became a bit discouraged, and being a bit of a whiner, began to cry to Olofin that the journey was long and hard, and he needed to rest a bit. Olofin was kind and understanding, but firm; and he encouraged Obatala once again, telling him to come forward. Once again extending his hand just out of reach.

 Obatala trudged on, and in a very short time realized that he was now engulfed in the brilliant white light that had formerly seemed so very far in the distance. He looked up and Olofin was smiling and embraced him, saying, " I am proud of you, my son; you have accomplished so much. And now, I would like you to turn around and gaze upon your journey and tell me what you have learned from your travails."
 Obatala slowly turned around and was astounded at what he saw.

 "What do you see, Obatala," asked Olofin.

 " Father" he replied as tears of joy filled his eyes,

              "it was only a foothill !"

                                                And so it was.  

This article is lovingly dedicated to my Godparents 
Odun   & Mayordomi, and of course..... to Obatala.

Copyright © 2001 A Path to Wholeness. All rights reserved.

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