How much do you give? And how much do you receive in return? Is it balanced? For many years, there was no balance in this for me. Nowadays, I have a different approach to giving and receiving. It’s more balanced. I’ve written a fable about how this works. Fables, that’s kids’ stuff, isn’t it? Hmm, I invite you to read this fable. And I wonder how it makes you feel.
He who comes from the land of plenty – A fable
Deep in the Australian bush, there lived a young kookaburra, called Dalman. His name originates from one of the many Aboriginal languages, and means: ‘He who comes from the land of plenty’. He lived with his father, mother, brothers and sisters in the hollow of an old ironbark gum tree, near a creek.
Each day, at the crack of dawn, little Dalman was the first of all the kookaburras in the neighbourhood to rise, and sound in the new day. He sat himself at the tip of a large hanging branch of the ironbark. There he opened his little beak and greeted the sun, who was called Walcha, at the top of his voice.
“Rrrrrruckakakakakakakah...!!!” he called laughingly with a big smile on his face.
By the time his family had joined him, Dalman had already given his own concert, with which he woke all the other animals. Each time it was as if he guided Walcha’s nourishing warmth to each and everyone, so they could bask in abundance. In this he certainly lived up to his name.
This was but the beginning. After sounding reveille, Dalman immediately flew out in search of yabbies (freshwater crayfish) and other small animals to eat. With a full beak he flew back to his parents’ nest, where his family would enjoy the food he had found. After breakfast, Dalman often went out with his mates to discover new places, or to play amongst the gum tree leaves. Not all the time though, for, every day he would report to his parents at least a few times to ask if they had any chores for him. Even when his parents had no chores, he would find them himself.
Dalman could not make out why he did this, but knew it had something to do with how he felt. For him it felt as if the others needed his help. As if they were not able to look after themselves properly. That was why he always flew up front to kill snakes that came too close, or to fight bush fires with twigs and sand. This was seldom without danger to his own life, and the times he came home badly injured were innumerable. As were the times that he gave his last bit of food to someone else, or that he carried out his brothers’ and sisters’ chores.
He kept on going, and was always there for everyone. Then it went wrong. Slowly, the brave, independent and loving little Dalman became exhausted. Because of his excessive efforts for the others, he ran out of energy and stopped laughing. Poor Dalman did not understand. Why did he feel so tired? And why didn’t the others understand him? Couldn’t they see that he was hurting inside? That his heart broke a little further each time? Sick with grief, he flew far away from the nest, to an old casuarina pine tree that stood in a bend in the creek. There he let his head hang down as he cried and cried. He cried so much that his tears dripped on to the leaf of a big water lily floating in the creek below him.
“Why won’t anyone do something for me?” he wailed sadly.
At that very moment, the West Wind Jungay started blowing. She whispered gently in Dalman’s little ear:
“What’s the matter dear Dalman?”
Dalman looked up in surprise, but was soon at ease when he sensed it was Jungay.
“I feel so very tired Jungay. And so sad as well. I’m always there for others, but they never seem to notice. I give them everything and get little in return.”
“Hmm,” Jungay sighed, “it’s like this goolcoola (sweet one). Every day our beloved Walcha rises to let us bask in his sunrays. So, why do you think, he does this in the daytime only?”
Dalman frowned. He had never given this any thought. “Because he needs sleep too?” he suggested.
“Exactly, he needs sleep too. That’s why he sets in the evening. He then recharges by receiving the cosmic power of love. This power is like mannaw (honey) to his spirit. He can’t go without.”
“So,” Dalman interrupted, “by receiving, he is giving to himself.”
“Yes, that’s right, and so can you Dalman. It’s fine to give so much to others, as long as you make sure you have enough first. Be like the Wandjina (rain cloud spirits) who collect enough water before sprinkling it as rain over the earth.”
“Ah, now I get it Jungay. If I were to go and play with my mates first after breakfast, and do my chores afterwards, I will begin to feel stronger.”
“That’s it. Do what makes you feel fine. You’ll see, that when you do this for a while, you’ll end up full of energy. And then, you’ll even be able to give more.”
“Just like Walcha!” Dalman cried enthusiastically.
Dalman had barely uttered these words, when Walcha appeared from behind a cloud and bathed Dalman in gold light. Again Dalman cried, only this time it was out of joy.
“Thank you Jungay!”
Jungay said nothing in return, instead, by way of reply, she suddenly started blowing strongly. Only for a few moments, and when it was calm again, Dalman spread his wings and made for home. A radiant smile appeared on his face, while his heart overflowed with happiness. That evening, before Walcha went down magnificently and coloured the sky purple, Dalman laughed like never before. From then on, he would return to the land of plenty every day to fill himself with love.
Giving It All Away – Roger Daltrey
Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles
Image: ‘Fat Kookaburra’ by Jake Williamson on Sxc.hu
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