Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Christmas rock-maker

Christmas is a time of stories . . . traditional stories. Stories round the fire in the long, dark evenings . . . stories when sleep is elusive and Santa's arrival is imminent.
I came across this one, curl up and enjoy it . . .

Once upon a time there was a rock maker. During the summer months he did a good trade, selling his wares to the seaside towns and doing good business. But, in the winter, no-one wanted rock and he and his young wife found life very difficult.
One day his wife said to him, "Why don't you make a special Christmas rock? Then people will want to buy it in the winter."
The rock maker thought this a good idea, and he went to consult a wise man.
"How should I make my Christmas rock?" he asked, "I was thinking of making it green with red spots right through it, to recall the ivy and the holly berries."
But the wise man disagreed, "You make it pure white," he instructed, "as white as the promise of peace, as white as the innocence of the new born. And, down the middle of the rock, you place a beautiful, five-pointed golden star to remind everyone of the joy of Christmas. When people eat your rock they will get the true Christmas message. They will look beyond their own desires and anxieties. They will notice the birds singing in the bushes, they will see the spring bulbs pushing up through the earth, the stars shining in the sky, they will be filled with hope and joy and the love of God"

The rock maker went away feeling a little worried. It was a beautiful idea, but the ingredient to make the gold star was very expensive, it would take up all his remaining savings, and what if the rock didn't sell? But his wife persuaded him to give it a try, for, as she said, they had nothing to lose and everything to gain.
So they sold all but the most essential of their possessions and they bought the expensive gold ingredient, and the rock maker made the special snow-white Christmas rock with the shining star right down the middle.
And what was the result? The people couldn't get enough of this wonderful Christmas rock. And this was the amazing thing, once they had tasted it they bought it again and again, not for themselves but for their friends. Even more amazingly, the star didn't stop shining once it had been eaten. The people who ate the rock also started to shine. The shine came out of their eyes, it echoed in their laughter, it radiated in their faces. And the rock maker and his wife would have been very wealthy - only they, too, were inspired to give their money away.
And the rock maker and his wife came to a wise decision. They decided that they would continue to make Christmas rock, even in the summer, so that the joy of Christmas would permeate the whole year . . . and they did.

So, if you are lucky enough to come across some of their special rock, why not buy it and give it away? We all have need of it.