Once Upon a Mountain
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.
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."
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.
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
"What do you see, Obatala," asked Olofin.
" Father" he replied as tears of joy filled his eyes,
And so it was.
This article is lovingly dedicated to my Godparents