I went to the mountain to find the guru. I climbed and climbed as the path became more and more narrow, steep beyond all my experience. I kept on, following the instructions I was given, up and up.
Finally, the summit was in sight, and I could see that the path was leading to a small yurt, the domain of the guru. There was a flimsy door, hanging on leather hinges, but that door certainly could not do much to keep out the bitter winds sweeping up the slope. There was a small note on the door, flapping in the wind. I leaned down to read, “Closed on Thursdays.” Well, of course, it was Thursday. In fine print at the bottom of the note, “You can complain to your heart’s content, we’re still closed! If you need guidance and direction and cannot wait, you must find the walrus. Don’t forget to take him syrup, he loves syrup!” I had syrup in my supply pack, as it happened.
Back down I went, down the narrow path, leaning into the frigid wind, gritting my teeth, trying to hold in my anger and disappointment. “Closed on Thursdays”, indeed! Then the snow started. Yes, a perfect day to be turned away by the one person who could likely answer my burning question. I trudged on, wondering how to find the walrus.
In the small village at the bottom of the path I inquired of a wizened old man weighed down by a load of hides on his back, “Where is the walrus?” He looked up at me, then looked me all over, perhaps sizing me up, then squinted at me and grunted, “Got syrup?” I nodded eagerly, amazed at my luck. He shook his head in apparent disgust and wandered on up the village street. Did I not pass inspection? What could be the problem? I ran to catch up, his gait having carried him some good distance away by now. I blocked his way, hands on my hips. “Where is the walrus? And yes, I have syrup.” He pointed back down the street and said, with more distaste, “See that palm tree down there?” “Yes”, I exclaimed, “is the walrus there?” He nodded distantly, went on his way again.
I moved quickly down the street, slowing as I approached the palm tree of promise. As I got close enough I saw that on the tree was a small note, “Only open on Wednesdays. Please come back yesterday.”