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The Long Road

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VxPoem ID: 9185


Posted: February 3rd. 2005 3:22:25 AM

Views: 2603

Parable of the Hermit's Lover

by B. T. Newberg

Age Group: Adult

ONCE there was a hermit who wanted to make love to the Goddess. He built himself a cottage and prayed, "Come to me my Love. I shall shut myself up in this cottage until You come. I shall wait for You here, even if it be till the end of my days."

The hermit expected many long years of practice. He thought if he endured protracted fasting, prayer, sacrifice, and meditation, he might meet the Goddess within his lifetime. But that very night the Goddess came. They made love in ecstasy until it was nearly dawn.

When the hermit woke, however, he found lying beside him only a woman from a nearby village. He scolded, "Who are you! Get out of my house!" And he sent her away in shame.

The hermit searched his cottage and its surroundings but could not find his Lover. He wondered if She had gone for a walk. So he went out of his cottage to search for Her.

He went first in the direction of the east. There he came upon a small child with a voice like the wind, and she was singing a song. The hermit asked, "Child, have you seen my Love pass by?" The child replied, "No, sir. If you like, sir, we can sing a song together."

But the hermit was in a hurry. Next he tried the direction of the south, where he found a boy on the cusp of manhood sparking a fire to cook his breakfast. The hermit asked, "Have you seen my Love pass by?" He replied, "I haven't seen anyone but you, sir. Are you hungry? I've enough for two."

So the hermit pushed on to the west where a man who would soon be an elder was bathing in a stream. He said, "I haven't seen anyone, my friend. You look tired. Why don't you have a swim with me?"

In the north the hermit encountered a very old woman embroidering a shroud with the names of ancestors. She said only, "No one has passed."

In desperation the hermit climbed a hill to look out across the land. A low cloud passed overhead. Seeing this the hermit cried out, "O Goddess, where is my Goddess?"
Coming down the hill he found a cave, and he went deep into the earth. There he found a pit of snakes, where he tarried long in loneliness.

At last he returned to his cottage, where he found a boar and a sow coupling in his bed. He drove them out, and sat there with his head in his hands.

Now by this time the dusk was coming on, and the day's walking had so tired out the hermit that he fell straight to sleep. That night he had a dream.

"My Love, You return!" he cried, for he dreamed She was there in all Her radiance. "But why did You abandon me?"

She replied, "O My lover, how could I abandon you? I was there in your bed, but you did not know Me. In every direction I met you and entreated you to stay with Me, but you did not recognize Me. As you stood on the hilltop I passed over and gave you shade, and in the cave I fawned hissing at your feet. Even as you returned to your bed, again I was there."

Immediately the hermit awoke from the dream and prayed, "O Goddess, one time You came to me in the flesh and the next in a dream. How mysterious are Your transformations!"

Then as the hermit was drifting back to sleep, he thought he heard a voice whisper, "O My love, there is nowhere you can go where I will not make love to you. For your bed is a small thing, but My bed is this whole Earth."

In the morning the hermit abandoned his cottage and ever after enjoyed the company of people. He lived long, and all those with whom he tarried found in him a comfort. For as surely as the Goddess was in them, so She was in him too.

Author's Notes: A Buddhist aphorism:

A long thing is the long body of the Buddha,
A short thing is the short body of the Buddha.

As a Naturalistic Pagan, I believe in evidence. There is no evidence that deities and magic are "real" in the most literal sense, but they may yet be moving and powerful. These poems are a tribute to the inspiration of Pagan ways.

For more information on naturalism, see

parable copyright 2004

Author's Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
More Poems: B. T. Newberg has posted 73 additional poems- View them?
Author's Profile: To learn more about B. T. Newberg - Click HERE
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