The Sage Who Said Nothing

woman on mtn

Amelia continued packing her backpack. She checked her list to make sure she was not missing anything. She had looked online and printed out a map of the Appalachian Trail. From the parking ground to the Sage’s home, deep in the woods, was exactly 111 miles. It could take her 3 days to get there. She had her tent, extra clothes, and toiletries. She also had another sack of fresh grains and vegetables as per others who had visited the Sage. The Peruvian Shaman did not accept money. People who came to see him donated their time, food, or materials.

Morning came with the awareness that her mid-age-overweight body might not make it through the hike. Her body was stricken by arthritis but she moved through it and made sure to pack some Advil. She wanted answers to why she continued to lose so much. Once again, another business and relationship had taken her livelihood. Amelia believed the Sage would have the right answers. She knew he would enlighten her with awareness and bestow on her the gift of spiritual acceptance. She ate breakfast and headed the 55 miles to the parking ground below the mountains on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

She parked her blue Honda and trekked up the trail. With map in hand, she was excited to find the mystical wisdom from someone who was connected to Source. She was too closed to her situation and she couldn’t find the why’s and how’s. After several hours, her lungs felt like they were being poked with knives, Amelia stopped to snack and get water from a stream. She was exhausted. How was she to make this journey in 3 days? It was going to be impossible. By her calculations she hadn’t traveled 8 miles.

After an hour of meditation she had the strength to continue. Amelia moved past the pain and discomfort. That night she rested well, in pure exhaustion. She bathed under a waterfall. She ate lightly and sufficiently. The next morning her aches paralyzed her. She thought maybe it was time to just give up. She could camp there for another day and then head back home. But, her tenacity moved her with passion. She wanted answers. She was determined to see the Sage. She had a list of questions for him. She wanted to understand why she walked away from everything, again. She wanted to find out if she would ever repeat such challenges.

It took her four and a half days to reach the top of the mountain. There was no house or shack. There was a hut that blended with the forest. Had it not been for the smoke coming from it she might have overlooked it. She dumped her belongings in front of the doorway. She spoke softly, “Hello? Is anyone here?”

A little dark man with black hair and small black eyes stepped into her sight. He motioned her to come sit on the cushions in the middle of the hut. There was very little in this space. For a second she judged how anyone could live like this. Through her own resistance she began to talk.

“Oh, thank you. My name is Amelia. I have traveled a long distance to see you.” She began to pull out her list from her jacket. The Sage stopped her gesture. He motioned her to put down the list.

He spoke in broken English. His accent was thick, choppy, and Amelia explained that she also spoke Spanish. He sat on the cushion in front of her and said nothing else.

“Okay, well, I have recently lost my business to my husband…not to death…to betrayal…to alcoholism…(She took a deep breath and tears began to fall)… I handed everything to him. This is the second time in my life I walk away from everything. I have lost more than money. I have lost my trust. I have lost my will. I have lost my faith. I have lost my mind. I have lost…” The Sage put his hand up to stop the excessive chatter.

He grabbed her left hand and looked at her palm lines. Her hands were dirty and she began to talk about how they got that way, when the Sage once again motioned her to stop.

They sat there for a long while. She could hear the wind moving the trees outside. She could hear a stream passing nearby. She could hear her own breath and heart. Her chest was pounding up to her ears. She could feel the heat rising from her anger at being shut down. She felt the sting of rejection, the knife of betrayal, and the lost of herself.

She broke the silence again, “I have questions.” He motioned for silence.

After a few minutes he said, “Life.”

Amelia, confused, asked, “Excuse me, what about life?” He motioned her to stay quiet.

A short while later he looked into her eyes, while still holding her hand, “Let go.”

She asked again, “Let go of what exactly? I’ve let go of everything. I have lost everything. I don’t even know where to begin again….” Once again, he looked into her hazel eyes and held a hand up.

He then said, “Laugh.”

She looked at him puzzled and took her hand back. She was completely confused by these words. This man is known to give answers from the Universe to heal and get past traumas. All she got was Life, let go, and laugh. Was this a joke? Was this a Hallmark card? Seriously! Her anger rose and she felt the heat move her body into an inexplicable release. But she contained it. She was good at keeping things tightly inside.

The Sage got up and stood in front of her. He motioned a sign on her forehead. He stepped to the back of the hut and got a small sealed pouch. He said, “Keep it on you. It will give you answers.” Then he motioned her to exit.

“I’m sorry, I am a bit confused, are you sending me away? Is this all? I want answers or advice or suggestions on how to get past this hurt….” He held his hand up one last time.

“You have the answers. Life. Let go. Laugh.”

Amelia was livid. She stepped out into the wilderness again and said, “Geez, thanks for the almighty wisdom. I might have to let go of it all. She began to cry in frustration and then she giggled with deep exasperation.”

The Sage smiled and said, “There you go. You have already started to heal.”


Sometimes it’s the journey that heals us. Sometimes in its excruciating path we find the answers. You are your wisest sage. You are the mystical being. You are the One. You don’t have to go looking for answers outside in the world. They come through the experiences of Life. They arrive through Letting Go. And, they heal through Laughter. A wise man once said nothing. That’s all he had to offer.

~ Millie Parmer ~

Midpoint Assessment

It’s the midpoint of my birthday month.  I have done a lot in the first 14 days.  I took a healthy cooking class, created my first Indian meal, visited new hiking spots and waterfalls, and traveled to Charleston.  I walked an amazing beach there, and ate in Downtown.  That city reminds me so much of Old San Juan with its Spanish architecture, felt a little homesick.  I’ve bought several great outfits in Goodwill, explored a few new roads through the mountains, read some excellent spiritual books, and even went to see my therapist after an entire year of absence.  I took my last Reiki class certification and have done long-distance healing work.  I was able to visit the Biltmore Estate and witness the blooming of the tulips which was spectacular.

These past few weeks have also guided me to write some intense letters to people I believed I hurt throughout the years.  Surprisingly, all of them got returned with beautiful notes of forgiveness and letting go.  I am even trying to mend the relationship with my eldest daughter who had her second child a month and a half ago.  My daughter arrived into my life at the age of 11-1/2 from Romania and never quite bonded with our family. It’s been several years that have placed a quiet distance between us and the time has arrived to slowly integrate our relationship. Now that she’s a mother she can accept love in ways I could have never shown her.  Hopefully, I will make it to her home in the near future to meet my beautiful grandchildren.  If anything, accomplishing this task was well overdue and, as the adult, I needed to be the first to mend.  There’s something so humbling about finding your way back to the unpretentious beginning.  My children have always grounded me in this department.  I am thankful that they continue to teach me valuable lessons about love and compassion.  As with everything, time can only tell what beauty this journey will have for me.

I have always prided myself in being strong and weak at the same time.  I fall a lot and pick myself up while trying to not look back.  I have tried to relinquish any egotistical qualities in the past year.  Even when it doesn’t feel good, I now sit back and try to find a way to get through the emotions, like water finding its way through a creek.  It will do just about anything to keep flowing.   You can put rocks, boulders, and logs along the way but the water will find a little space to get through.  Emotions break dams and barriers whenever they have to be released.

Today my best friend and I painted the gazebo on our property.  We have a few weddings here this summer.  We also took a waterfall apart in the creek and lined it so it would work properly.   So far so good…looks like it has been there for years.  These mundane acts, although tedious, brought such joy to my birthday month.

In a few days I will be turning the same age that my mother was when she gave birth to me.  I think about this often and don’t know how she did it.  I am so blessed to have my time as opposed to starting a family.  I am at the age of exploration and excitement. I am selfish with my alone time, the time spent with my kids, family and friends.  Each day brings joy.  I am a sucker for surprises.  I live to receive them.  The simplest things as the arrival of hummingbirds or a new chipmunk in the lawn put a smile of my face. I am truly a goof ball when it comes to silliness.

I can’t imagine where the next 16 days will take me.  This birthday has been full of beauty, simplicity, excitement, surprises and adventures.  I’ve had amazing company visit and teach me so much.  I was able to finish several writing projects.  Who knows what will appear in the next two weeks!  I welcome everything with sacredness and love.  Letting go of pretenses and plans is exhilarating.  I am always brought to tears when the unexpected comes and visits.  Surrendering to the Divine keeps guiding me into the unknown and I’m loving all the miracles!