Day 19 – What Are You Carrying?

How Could You??

There’s a story about a couple of monks walking down a path towards the river.  An old monk and a young monk.  As they approach the river they spy a woman standing at the edge.  After a moment of conversation, they realize that she needs help to cross the river…however, without a boat or other means, helping her would cause them to violate their vow to never touch a woman.

Without the slightest hesitation, the older monk picks up the woman and carries her across the river.  The young monk stands there aghast.

He finally follows them to the other side where the woman goes one way and the monks the other. Except the younger monk is visibly upset. They walk along some more and the noises coming from the younger monk are bordering on comical. That sigh. That eye roll you can hear.

And finally, the young monk cannot stand it a moment longer. Exasperated, he turns to the older monk and says “HOW COULD YOU CARRY THAT WOMAN?”

And the older monk responds “Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river, why are you still carrying her?”

It’s been an emotional week. And a lot of unknowns. I’m not great with unknowns. And I’m not a fan of the in-between times either. This story is about letting go of the past. Past hurt, resentment, behavior.

However, it’s also about expectation and fear. We expect things to happen a certain way or people to do what we think they should. And fear – if things aren’t the way I think they should be…they must be wrong.

Oh please, girl – pull yourself together.

That young monk. That sigh. That eye roll you can hear. That temptation to stomp feet in childish frustration. I almost want to grab him up and give him a big o’ hug.

You can’t help that birds will fly over your head but you can stop them from building nests in your hair.
Zen Proverb

Until tomorrow,

Miss a day – read more “The Crazy Things We Do”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Donna Matthews is a blog writer at the DJRanch where she strives to remain authentic while not taking herself too seriously. She is also the creator of Slay The Chaos (, where she writes about productivity and organization. She is a member of The Writers Guild and Write Space in Houston and is currently writing her first book.