There was a girl named Ella who was quite extraordinary. She had a gift, a brilliant Light, which went unseen by most. Her father wasn’t the kindest of fathers. However, her grandmother knew of her gift, which made Ella feel very special. Growing up, most adults wanted her to be what they wanted her to be, which wasn’t always who she was on the inside. But she endured knowing her Light would guide her.
She lived in many places, made many friends and helped out where she could as she grew into a young woman. When she left home, she played music with minstrels. She sailed across oceans, studied the ancient healing arts, alchemy and the higher education of her village. She loved the arts and music and making people’s lives a little brighter. She tried different things and lived many experiences throughout her journey, overcoming many disappointments, tragedies and losses by making a pair of binoculars. Her gift was not only her Light, but as she found out, she could bend her Light into different shapes. She could adjust the lenses and mold them as she desired.
As a woman, Ella became quite a craftsman, knowing exactly how to bend her Light through her binoculars to get the best for others and herself. Many around her, though, still wouldn’t listen or simply didn’t want to see. So, she kept her binoculars hidden while finding other ways to bend her Light. She discovered that her own voice could be molded the way she had shaped her binoculars. So, she sang and spoke often, and to whoever would listen. Soon, she became well known from valley to valley to valley. She loved the people, the valleys, the forests, the rivers, the birds, the animals. She also loved the mountain, which she had never fully climbed. She thought about it many times, though… wondered what the climb would be like…wondered what the view from the top with her binoculars would be like. And on the day she decided to make the climb, a man was sitting on a rock at the foot of the mountain…
“What are you doing?” He said. Ella calmly answered, “I did some finishing touches on these binoculars I’ve been working on for a long time. I wanted to see what’s up there, on the top, and what’s on the other side. I want to see through them. I’m going to check it out. Want to come?”
The man was intrigued. “Sure! How are you getting there?” Ella pointed to a softly sanded path and said, “This way!”
Being the guide she often was, she smiled and said. “There IS a little bit of work involved. I haven’t been the full length, yet. But I’ve climbed portions of it. It’ll take a lot of courage, mindfulness and balance every step of the way. But if I can do it, you can too! She continued, as the man listened intently. “I made my own pair of binoculars and have an extra. Do you want to borrow them? They’re quite spectacular.” She offered her extra pair and said, “I promise, you’ve never seen through anything like them before.” With that promise, the man took the extra pair of binoculars.
As he gazed through the binoculars, his sight became clear. He could hardly believe it. He could see things on the ground all around him, so clearly, that it scared him but he couldn’t stop looking through Ella’s binoculars. “Wow! The view is incredible. Everything’s so clear! The trees, plants, the animals all around me… they’re so… beautiful! The forest is glowing green and gold! I can see the dirt and the mud… all the colours are so alive… I can even see the itty bitty bugs!”
Ella smiled knowingly, saying, “I really want to see the view at the top of the mountain. Are you coming? “Sure,” the man said. “In a minute! I’m just really into these binoculars of yours!”
Ella began her ascent to the top of the mountain with her pair of binoculars snuggled close to her chest leaving the man behind. As she climbed upwards securing each step along the way, she paused to see whether the man had begun his climb. He was still on the ground looking through the binoculars. Ella yelled down to the man, “Are you coming? I’m already halfway up! It’s beautiful!”
The man, still immersed in his new found view, yelled. “In a minute! I’m looking at the creepy crawlies right now! They’re huge and fluorescent!” Leaving him to his new discoveries, Ella replied, “OK! I’m going to keep moving on.” Distracted, the man said, “OK! I’ll catch up!”
But the man hadn’t made one step onto the mountain and Ella was nearing the top. He was still walking around the forest floor, distracted and amazed by what he was seeing through the binoculars. Ella meanwhile, was taking in more of the fresh air near the mountain top and enjoying more sunlight on her face. She gazed upon the free flight of two black birds, which were so close she could hear the sound of their flight as they glided through the air. Something she never heard from the ground. “This must be bliss!” She thought, knowing there would be more magic if she just kept climbing.
Ella could hear the faint echoes of the man’s voice as he chatted to himself in amazement of his discoveries through the binoculars. He couldn’t put them down. Ella kept climbing steadily and mindfully, imagining what was waiting for her at the top…. more colours, more magic, more music, more bliss to fill her senses.
As she neared the top, she looked down and the man was nowhere to be seen. She called for him but he did not hear her…he could not hear her… nor could she hear him!
As she gave herself one final push over the rocks, she stood breathless at the vastness that lay before her. She had made it! The climb had felt like a lifetime but the moment eternal. She pulled out her binoculars and looked out over the hills and valleys, out towards the skyline and the other side of the mountain; looking through her lenses then looking without… looking through, then looking without. Then it dawned on her that what she was seeing through her binoculars and with her naked eyes were one in the same. The sky was clear, the colours vivid and alive. The foot of the mountain was also clear and everything in between. Lush neon-green valleys, crystal blue waters, and pulsating colours of red, orange, yellow, and purple for as far as her naked eyes could see. Ella no longer needed her binoculars, she realized. And in that moment, she heard what sounded like faint whisperings from the man below. She leaned over the edge, and yelled, “What?”
“Are you coming down, already? It’s getting dark.” Bellowed the man.
Still in her moment of awakening and empowerment, Ella beckoned to the man. “It’s quite spectacular up here. Why don’t you climb up and bring your binoculars? You really have to see this! It’s breathtaking!”
The man turned upward from his binoculars and confessed to Ella. “I’m afraid of heights. So, I don’t climb. The binoculars, though, are making everything down here mighty fine! It’s like a whole new world through these lenses… It’s breathtaking!”
“I know,” she said, realizing she couldn’t go back. “But there’s more up here. Are you not coming up?” She reached to him. “No! I’m okay where I am,” said the man.
Ella persisted, “Oh come on! You can do it. It’s easy… hand, foot… hand, foot! If I can do it, so can you!” Confessing, the man said to Ella, “I’m afraid of heights and it’s getting late! Are you coming down?”
“No!” said Ella.” I want to keep going. I want to see what lies on the other side of the mountain… And why didn’t you tell me you were afraid of heights?”
The man removed the binoculars from his sight and looked up. “Well, I heard about your binoculars and I wanted to check them out. So, I waited for you. But I didn’t want to climb, at least not right now. It’s getting dark. Are you coming down?”
“No!” Ella replied, once again. “Well, what am I supposed to do?” The man, now at a loss after his eyes had been opened to the world around him, said hopelessly. “Whatever you want?” Was Ella’s smiling reply.
“You’re not coming back down, are you?” said the man. Ella, still determined from the mountain top, said, “I told you I wanted to climb this mountain and see what was up here and beyond. It took me a long time to get here and I’ve just now realized that I don’t need my binoculars anymore. So, you can keep the one’s I gave you. I want to explore what’s on this other side.” And the man realizing that Ella wasn’t coming back, said, “Ok, wait! I’ll catch up! Just wait there for me!”
But Ella knew that the man had waited too long and that darkness was coming. “You’ll have to start in the morning. But I’ll be long gone!” as she pointed to the lush valleys away from where she came. “Wait!” said the man. “It won’t take me long…” Ella watched as the man fumbled over loose rocks, stumbling hand over foot. She knew that it would take him longer than he thought. But the man kept calling for her, calling her name, in a desperately attempt to reach her, but Ella did not answer.
With the knowing that this was her path and his was below, Ella lay the binoculars, which served her so well for so long, on mountain top. She stepped over the ridge to the other side of the mountain onto another world.
After that day, the man shared the story of his meeting with Ella and of her magnificent binoculars. Many people made the trek to the mountain top where Ella once stood. Many also made the same journey to the other side, to the lush neon-green valleys, leaving their binoculars on the mountain top.
In her new world, Ella often thought of the man never knowing his name. But she knew that the binoculars she gave him would bring him great joy and a world of his own to explore… much the same way they had served her, once upon a time. One day, she thought, perhaps the man will overcome his fears and decide to make his own climb …