After the destruction, those who had survived came together. For some, the pain of such a great loss made them sick with sorrow. They sat and wept with so much sadness that even the surviving flies would not touch their tears. With grief so great, they had nothing to give to the rebirth of their world. They simply laid down and let their sorrow consume them.
Others worked tirelessly, day and night, to clean up the waste and find resources to rebuild. Some were fueled by anger, some by hope, and some even felt a sense of adventure at the thought of creating a new world. After a time, life became a little easier. The people still worked hard, but now the urgency of survival was gone. Groups began to gather and share their hopes and dreams for a future. One very smart, old man called together those blessed with great minds and they talked and talked.
“How could such a terrible thing have happened?” they asked. And then they argued for days over the answer. They discussed how to prevent such a catastrophe from happening again and what the best plan was for the new world.
The great minds did little to help with the rebuilding, but that was because they were very busy sharing great ideas. They rarely agreed on any answers, but they seemed to find fulfillment in discussions and even arguments.
An old woman, who did not have such a great mind, sat on the edge of some of such talks. She was amazed at the abundance of thoughts, but the long discussions and disagreements soon gave her a headache and she had to walk away.
Another woman, with a kind heart, put her energy into helping others. She worked day and night taking care of the sick, feeding the hungry and building shelter for those that had none. She was often tired, but she never stopped working.
The old woman worked with the kind-hearted woman to help others. One day the old woman tried to give the kind-hearted woman a bowl of soup, for she had not eaten all day, but the kind-hearted woman refused to eat and gave the soup to another.
This made the kind-hearted woman’s daughter angry. The daughter worried for her mother’s health. The daughter was also afraid of growing weak like her mother so she worked hard to take care of her body.
The daughter drank only drank pure water and ate only the freshest foods, sometimes traveling far into nature to find them. She ran great distances to strengthen her legs and heart and lifted heavy objects to make herself strong. She worked many hours a day to keep herself fit. Others, admiring the daughter’s strong body, sought her advice and she, also being kind like her mother, gladly instructed them in their quest for health and strength.
The daughter boasted that she would be ready for the next disaster. If it should occur, she would be able to run fast or shield herself from falling objects. If there were a lack of food, her body would be strong enough to survive for many days without eating.
The old woman listened and tried to eat well and to push her body like the others, but she could not keep up with tiring exercises of the strong daughter and her followers. When the group went running, the woman tried to walk fast with them, but soon she fell far behind. She found that while she couldn’t walk very fast, she could walk quite far and she soon found herself at the edge of the hills. The air was cool and clean and the woman began to feel a sense of peace that she had not felt since the destruction. She stopped thinking about why such a bad thing had happened and worrying if it would happen again.
The old woman simply enjoyed the walk and appreciated her body for how far it had carried her into nature. When she was tired, she sat and rested. She found a soft, grassy spot and sat to enjoy the sun’s warmth on her back. She closed her eyes and opened her hands to the sky. She began to hum, not really a tune, just a pleasant sound that filled her body and emptied her mind.
Soon, her thoughts faded away and she stopped humming and simply listened to the silence. She didn’t know when it happened, it might have been a short time or it might have been a very long time, but at some point the silence spoke to her and they talked without speaking for a long while.
When the old woman returned to herself, it was almost dark, but she was at peace and wasn’t worried or afraid to be alone. She didn’t want to leave the place, but she knew she had to tell the others of the peace she’d found. She was so excited that she almost ran down the hill. As soon as she reached the others, she tried to tell them of experience, but they looked at her oddly. She was disappointed that no one seemed to understand her.
The next day, the old woman went back to the hills. Again she found peace in silence. Day after day, she always found time to go off by herself. Some days she went to the hills, other days she walked to the water and sometimes she simply sat in her hut, but always the silence came to her and gave her peace.
Most of the people thought the old woman had become odd and some avoided her. The kind-hearted woman still brought her food, but she looked at her sadly. One day though, a young woman of great mind, a man of kind heart and another woman of great strength saw the peace that the old woman had found. They sought her out and she led them to sit with her in nature. They too listened to silence and found peace.
Their group was a small one compared to the others that formed. Yet, they lived and worked alongside their fellow people always finding time for silence. And, with the others, they built a new world.