I Learned my Lesson from the Mountains and the Stones

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Kürşat İMALI

I was so bored. I was seriously down. The incidents happened one after another. It was the middle of March. In my grandmother’s words, “It was crazy March.” Just as it is not clear what a naive young man will do, it is called mad march because the course of the weather in March is not clear.

Here I stepped into the mountains of my village in the middle of this crazy March. My tongue was reading Hasbunallah. My mind was in deep thought. My heart was beating fast. The weather was rainy. The stream flowed at the junction of the foothills of the two mountains. I was climbing up the side of the stream.

On one side, there was the sound of the creek, the sound of the rain, on the one hand, the fog surrounding me, on the other side, the wonderful view of the pine trees soaked by the rain, and also, the exquisite sight of the raindrops that glided through the leaves of the pine tree and hung at the ends of the thorny leaves. In the creek, there was a piece of broken branch, and the remnant of autumn leaves that rested on this piece of broken branch formed small dams.

It wasn’t just water that flowed. Time was running faster than water. There were small-scale waterfalls formed by the effect of this time and flowing water. The soothing, vast and serene sound of the water coming down from these small waterfalls continued uninterrupted.

As a result of the harsh winter conditions, there were trees that had fallen on their sides, their branches were broken and their trunks were cracked. It was almost as if there was a great war and some trees were badly injured and became veterans. I couldn’t help saying ‘may your Gaza (battle) be blessed’.

I walked as much as I could in the rain. Then I watched the view for a long time. A sense of relief filled me. My heart was relieved. My soul was calmed. I watched nature, this wonderful harmony in nature. On the one hand, the unique whistling of the rain, on the other hand, the rumbling of the creek and the occasional bird chants…

While I was immersed in this view, the mountains, stones, trees, flowing water, the rocks on which the water flowed began to speak to me in the ‘meaning language’ and to reveal their secrets. I asked, they answered. First, I asked the plane tree right in front of me.

– I’m hopeless, depressed, and heartbroken right now. I almost fall apart. Do you have a lesson to teach me?

In the language of state the tree said:

– O human being! Lift your head. Open your eyes and your heart and take a good look at me! I am the oldest and most senior member of this neighbourhood. Your fellow men have cut off my arm and wing many times over and over again. I was badly damaged in the strong winds blowing in the harsh winter seasons. None of my main branches remained. All were either cut or broken. But I was never discouraged. I didn’t get offended. I did not shrink away. I did not give up. I did not abandon struggle. Those who broke my branches and arms could never break my hope. I gave new shoots to replace each of my cut or broken branch. I did not lose my enthusiasm. And you see my current state.

I looked again carefully. There really were no main branches left, except the trunk. But the tree was full of branches that had given new and fresh sprouts.

I turned and this time I asked the flowing water.

– I’m pretty exhausted and depressed. My hope is broken. Do you have a lesson for me?

I listened with the ear of wisdom, as the water, like a tree, was saying the following with the language of state:

– O human being! Regardless of the circumstances, I kept flowing. Thanks to this, I reached many dry places. And I always stayed clean. Because running water is clean. Stagnant waters start to smell, get dirty and get worms. People made various embankments to give me direction. They opened channels. There have been some who have partially changed my direction. But I kept flowing. I found my way by continuously flowing. So much so that the places I go by are always full of life. O human being! Don’t leave humility and generosity! Keep flowing. So let your life be in constant activity.

I asked, “How can I be in activity all the time?”

– If you have a goal, your life will always be about action and activity. You will not be idle. One that is on the move becomes clean and clear. The idle starts to rust.

My gaze fell on the rocks over which the water was flowing. I asked:

– O rocks! I’m having a serious trauma. Do you have a support and a lesson for me?

“Of course there is, O human being,” they said, “If you look with wisdom, you will learn your lesson.”

I listened with my eyes on the stones and my heart on what came from my eyes.

– People consider us rigid. They refer to the cold-hearted people among them as “stone-hearted”. In fact, we are not as rigid as you human beings think. If we were solid, would we be able to host all the fresh water sources, all the river sources? It’s true, we’re kind of tough creatures. But this is not a toughness in the sense of rigidity. It is a toughness and solidness at the point of staying in your proper place, not losing your character, not taking shape according to the currents and the development of events.

Because we have such a strong character and do not compromise our origin, we don’t get carried away by the currents. Maybe we become a ground for the currents and give direction. The currents sometimes becomes fierce and furious. They’re destroying whatever is in front of them. They scatter what’s on them. As for us; these severe and furious floods only cause the dirt and sediment on us to be cleaned. When the floods end and the current calms down, we are still there. And the waters continue to flow over us.

Then I looked up at the steep mountains and asked them:

– Right now, I see you as the recipient of great showers of mercy. How did you earn this blessing?

One of them, that is, the first one that caught my eye, said as if it represented them and in the language of meaning:

– O human being! Don’t just look at the present time to make a decision! We were roasted in summer heat for many years. We were caught in all kinds of storms in winter conditions. But we persevered in our place. We were fixed in our place with poise and calmness and a dignified manner. And finally we have been blessed with this spring rains. If you too wish to be showered with the rains of mercy, persevere in your place.

Flowing water said ‘move.’ Yes, there is blessing in action, there is hope. The mountain, like the rocks, says ‘persevere.’ Yes, one should also know where to stand. As he perseveres, he must learn to persist. He should not mind the storms blowing, the cold of winter, or the scorching heat of summer.

The lesson of the mountains was really like a mountain. It was big. It gave a mood that calmed the soul of human. I lowered my head.

With the influence of these wonderful lessons, feelings and emotions such as sadness, gloom, hopelessness, humiliation, exhaustion, overtiredness that demoralized me and broke my spirit, completely dispersed. I gathered strength like a mountain. I gave sprouts as fresh as sycamore. And like water, I started to flow into life, towards activity, effort, hope and goal.