He left the comforts of his life to search for what was missing. He wasn’t sure what that something was, but he felt confident he would know once he found it. Perhaps it was a greater sense of purpose, an exciting experience, money?
In his journey, he walked along many paths; some were well worn by the soles of thousands of travelers, others were so scarcely tread upon, he was unsure if his feet were the first to ever touch the soil. As he walked, he found and left many of the ideas he though might be what was missing. After finding a limping dog begging for food, he shared what little he had. He cared for the animals leg, and found such pleasure in helping the creatures of the world. He was certain he found a purpose, but that wasn’t what was missing. After he found that, he could focus on rescuing animals in need.
While scaling down a waterfall, his grip slipped on the mossy stones. He fell several meters before catching a vine and stabilizing himself. It was exciting, but not the excitement he believed might be lacking. After finding himself in a city whose language he did not recognize, he met someone he never wanted to leave. Communicating only through sound and gesture, he fell in love for years. It was exciting, but again, not what was missing.
He even found a skill he could fill in a community that was lacking. He worked and quite quickly became a relatively wealthy man. He had the resources to provide for every want, and he could satiate every whim. Of all the thing it might have been, money was certainly not it.
This voyage had spanned decades. The wanderer was now a very different person than the child who left home many years ago. He traversed hundreds of countries, met thousands of people, experienced a million experiences, and yet he had not found his goal. He had not found what was missing.
It wasn’t until he found himself sitting at the base of a mighty monument to the earth forming, watching the clouds paint new colors across the land, that his mind began to change. As he slowly lowered his body into the freezing lake, he felt the stillness in the air. The calls of the birds that were once so distant, rang vibrantly in his ears. He could smell the sulfur from the surrounding volcanoes engulfing his nostrils. He felt every cell in his body shudder to the cold water flowing gently around him. In this moment, he found presence.
He rose from the waters, knowing he could now return home. He would never find what was missing, and still, his odyssey was now complete.