A Merchant’s Lament

Hither and tither I go;
I search for a spot to restock.
I’ve run out of my signature commodity;
My warehouses are full of things in demand,
But absolutely devoid of anything of true worth.

From cities to mountaintops, across oceans and beyond borders;
Through deserts to glaciers, and the dark petrifying depths
Of the ocean floors, to caves and canyons and ancient ruins;
I’ve searched to the heavens, gone to the moon and back;
Returned empty-handed, sorely wanting, increasingly desperate,
Painfully in need of my signature commodity.

I’ve chased my customers, stalked them to their vaults;
Alas, their vaults are full of things not in demand,
And of no true worth – they wasted my signature commodity
On accumulating trinkets and trifles – roused my ire.

I’ve sought out monks and gurus, beings said to be capable
Of plucking this commodity out of thin air;
But it appears ‘thin air’ has run out of stock too.
I’ve tormented ascetics with bootless pleas till
They stripped themselves of the very little they had.

I’ve run out of options, a disgrace of a merchant;
I was tricked into selling my secret stash to a stranger –
Whose shadow I can’t even find now – for a castle-full of fools gold.

Then I meet a child, blissfully running through a field of flowers;
Roses, lilies, tulips, a host of others I do not know.
With a smile and brilliant eyes he asks me what my problem is;
And I told him…”I’ve run out of patience”.

For I am the self-proclaimed ‘Merchant of Patience’;
I’ve peddled patience for as long as I can remember;
Graciously bestowed it upon my customers, friends and strangers,
For a pound of their flesh and a piece of their conscience.
For I am a merchant after the order of this generation,
Patiently and ruthlessly exacting to the utmost,
The bloated price for my seemingly rare merchandise.

But the child replies,
“You see, Sir; You must have had the wrong kind of patience.
Because you cannot run out of true Patience.
It’s a fruit, you see. You just need to cultivate it.
And it’s not to be sold – cannot be bought;
Only nurtured and shared.”

#My 100th post. Thank you all for patiently sticking around.

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