The Valley

The ValleyI live in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Some say one of the most beautiful places on earth, lush, green, and fertile. But it wasn’t always this way. At first there was no valley, but only a vast, open dry prairie.

One day the master … asked the prairie, ‘Where are your berries?’ The prairie responded, ‘Master, I have no berry seeds.’ The master then spoke to the birds, and they brought seeds of every kind of berry … When the master saw the berries, he was pleased. But he failed to see his favorites … So once again he spoke to the birds, and again they brought all the seeds … But when the master arrived, he still could not find the berries he loved the most, and asked, ‘Where are my sweetest berries?’ The prairie cried sorrowfully, ‘0 Master … The winds sweep fiercely across me, and the sun beats down upon my breast, and the seeds simply wither up and blow away.’

Then the master spoke to the earth and the lightning, and split the prairie through its heart with mighty thunderbolts and an earthquake. The prairie reeled and groaned in agony … But then the Willamette river poured its water through the valley, bringing rich, dark soil with it, and filling the cracks and chasms left by the storm.

Once again the birds brought seeds and scattered them in the valley left by the storm. After a short time the cracks and chasms were adorned and draped with abundant berries….now the valley had become the master’s favorite place.

The best fruit [or berries] of our spirit like love, joy, peace, tolerance, kindness, and gentleness grow only in cracks in our soul that have been broken open. These are the places that become fertile and where all good things grow.

My friends, when your barren prairie is being shaken and broken by the master, remember the fruitful valley that awaits you.