You know the story.
Beauty been to seek a rose. Instead, she encounter a miserable Beast. Eventually...etc. The story always go the same way...a li’l variation to the plot here, a li’l addition there and they live happily, etc.
But it wasn’t the happily, etc. that travel with me from child to adult. It was a teeny li’l variation, one line, three words in Cousin Nan story-book. I stare at that line so long, it burn into me memory.
Today, I don’t remember the colours, what style them words been painted in, but I know for sure where they been and when. Beauty arrive at the palace of the Beast late at night. At the gate was bright-bright lamps that light up the archway. In the archway was these words:
WELCOME WEARY WANDERER.
Don’t know why that line never went dull. Coulda been the w-w-w alliteration that keep it glowing, like when you blow on embers in a mud-stove. Maybe it was the welcome, so warm, in that light-up gate. Or it was me kismet, me destiny - that line was supposed to light a trail for me, then, after I travel the world via books and conversations and experiences, I would see something in the words themselves.
Recently, finally, after talking again...yet again…about catching that flittery-fluttery gossamer happy-thing, them three words come back to me bright and clear. This time, I see something in them.
I see how, no matter where we live, even in the most beautiful of places, no matter how much good fortune we’s blessed with, that miserable beast got to, it just has to, give we a fight.
But I see this too - if we let imagination shine, beauty gon show up, pure and simple, like a rose. And if we’s bright enough, smart enough, we can figure out how to let this beauty lead we to joy, and this can calm the beast.
If only, if only we can do this…then, whenever the beast rail up...because it don’t sit still forever…then we can know where to find that joy whenever we need it.