The Most Important Thing

The Most Important Thing

© Susi Wolf 2013

A mystic was meditating deep in the forest when he heard a noise and 3 young men appeared in the brush.

“We are sorry to bother you, but we are seekers of truth and have come to find out something.”

The old man welcomed them, built a fire and made tea. “What do you seek?”

“Master, we want to know what the most important thing in your life is. Tell us and we will bring it to you, for surely then you will bless us so we may prosper.”

Gathering bags of Penobscot Indians of Maine

The sage sipped his tea quietly, frowning. “All right, here is what you must do.” He gave each boy an empty deerskin sack. “Go forth and fill this with that which I need to sustain me.”

The three boys eagerly left on their venture, each laying claim to a victory of being blessed by the holy man. After several days, they returned, holding their sacks and smiling.

The old man looked at one of them and motioned for him to come forward. “Show me your sack. What did Gathering bags of Penobscot Indians of Maine you find?”

The young man proudly stepped forward, opening the bag, which was filled with food. “Surely this is the most important thing in your life, for you must eat food to survive.”

The mystic smiled but said, “No…that is not it. You…come here,” he pointed to the next one.

The boy rushed to the man and opened his sack, showing it was filled with coins. “This must be the most important thing in your life because money can buy whatever you want.”

The mystic smiled but repeated, “No…that is not it. You…come here,” he pointed to the last boy, who came forward and opened his purse. The other two boys looked and saw nothing in it; they snickered but the holy man smiled. “What is in here?”

The boy said, “I know you may not see anything, but hear me out. I had a dream that the bag was alive and filled with Wisdom and Truth. I saw many things coming forth in my dream. I knew it was filled with stories. So I brought this to you as a Story Bag.”

The sage said, “You are blessed by me, boy. For that is the correct answer. Yes, I need food, but after I eat it, why, it’s gone and I will soon be hungry. And I may use coins to purchase what I want but when they are spent, I have to earn more coins. But Stories…well, when Stories are told they go into my soul and never leave. When I need them, they come back to my memory. They truly feed my spirit forever. You see, THAT is the most important thing – Story.

“But we want to be blessed too,” cried the other young men.

“Then sit down. And listen.” The shaman pointed to the Story Bag held by the youngest. “It’s time for you to become who you really are…a Storyteller! Look into the bag and ask.”

The boy seemed confused but he stared intently into the deerskin’s darkness. Then suddenly, he smiled. “I have one!” He slowly began to tell his first Story.

“In the Land of the In-Between there lived a bird – a rather insignificant-looking bird. He was small and a very common brown color. He sat by himself in the trees and most of the other birds did not even notice him. One might have wondered what use or purpose he even had. Until one day when Brown Bird sang. His songs were so beautiful and so unique all the other birds stopped and listened. And then they joined in. You see, they never thought about singing before because they were always so busy trying to feed…or build nests…or fly. But as soon as Brown Bird sang, the others wanted to be part of it. And with all their voices blending, it was like the sky itself had become a choir. So finally the birds understood…the purpose of Brown Bird was to make sure they all remembered to sing. And to this day, they all do.”

At first there was just silence. Then one of the boys whispered, “More. Tell us another one.” Story filled the night as the tales continued, leaving time behind.

And all who listened were blessed.

Susi Wolf is a healing storyteller in Albuquerque, New Mexico and specializes in women’s trauma recovery, but tells stories in multiple other venues. She has witnessed the Power of Story and how it may change the lives of those who listen. She is also a Certified Master Life Coach, EFT-Tapping Practitioner, Energy Medicine Healer, Shaman and her heritage is Eastern Band Cherokee/Celtic. [email protected] and

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