Once upon a time, in the heart of the Western Kingdom, lay a
beautiful garden and in the cool of the day, the Master of the garden
was going for a walk. Of all the dwellers in the garden , the most beautiful
and beloved was a gracious and noble bamboo.
Often when Wind came to revel in the garden, Bamboo would throw aside
his dignity, he would sway and dance merrily, leaping, jumping, swaying and
tossing in joyous abandon. He would lead the great dance of the garden which
was the real joy of his Master's heart.
One day, the Master spoke: "Bamboo, Bamboo, I would use you." His voice
came low: "Master, I am ready. Do with what you will." "Bamboo, the Master's
voice was grave, "I would be obliged to take you and cut you down." Great horror
shook bamboo, "No, not that, oh no! Beloved bamboo, the Master's voice grew
graver still, "if I do not take you and cut you down, then I cannot use you."
There came a whisper, "Master, if you cannot use me unless you cut me down, then
do your will and cut." Bamboo shivered with terrible expectancy. The Master said,
"Bamboo, I would divide you in two and cut out your heart."
So did the Master take his beloved Bamboo and cut him down and hacked off his
leaves and branches and divided him in two and cut out his heart. And then, lifting
him gently, he carried him to a spring of running water in the midst of the Master's
One end of the broken bamboo, he laid in the spring; the other in the water channel
which led into the Master's field. The spring sang, "Welcome!" The water raced joyously
down Bamboo's torn body. Then the rice was planted and the days went past. The shoots
grew and the harvest came.
In that day, was Bamboo so glorious in his beauty, yet more glorious in his brokenness and his
humility. For, in his beauty, Bamboo was life abundant. Yet, in his brokenness, he became
a source of abundant life for his Master's world.