June 11 – Sharing the Climb – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

Those who drink from the one water gaze at the same stars.

The climb was long. The day was hot. Tom had thought ahead and had frozen his water bottle, so his water would stay cold. But once he drank what had melted, he was left with a small chunk of ice rattling in a plastic bottle. That was when Bill, another climber, who hadn’t thought ahead, asked Tom to share his ice. Bill had plenty of water, but it was hot from their clim in the sun.

Tom was glad to share his ice and tried to break the chunk up so he could pass ice chips into Bill’s bottle. After a long frustration, it occurred to Tom to let Bill pour his hot water over the ice and to then let Bill drink from his bottle.

This small moment changed Tom’s life. He suddenly realized that if he let things in, he could share more easily than if he kept breaking things down in order to get them out.

As he came back down into the world, he understood the three mysteries of sharing: First, if there’s time, let the cold things thaw. But if there is no time, let the warm things in, and only when necessary, break the hard things remaining and pray like hell you can pass them.

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