The Cabin: A Parable

A parable is a story.  It’s a story that carries a message that may be different for each person.  I’ve herd from several people who are feeling like they are being called or drawn to move in a particular direction.  Yet, there are always things that seem to be holding them back.  Perhaps, you may see something of yourself in this story.

His breath fogs the glass and he uses his sleeve to wipe clean a circle through which he continues to stare.  In the cabin are the basic comforts; food, warmth, light and clothing.  And yet, something keeps drawing him to the window.

He looks out through the mist to the trees at the forest’s edge.  “What’s out there?” he wonders.  He hears voices in the trees and occasionally he catches a glimpse of movement.  For a very long he stares out the window; wondering, longing.  Safe inside the cabin he feels like a caged lion.  He paces, he sits, he tries to sleep.  He returns to the window.

More voices, more movement.  A chorus of whispers saying, “Open the door.  Come out and walk in the woods.”  He wants to go.  He desperately wants to go.  But, the note tacked to the inside of the door says, “If you leave this room, you may never return.”

For years he has read the note, wanting to tear it down, shred it and throw it in the fire.  One day he can stand it no longer.  He has stood looking out the window for so long that a part of him knows he’ll die if he does not go out to the woods.

With fear, desire and determination, he unlocks the door and steps outside.  From the woods he hears a mighty cheer.  He sees movement on all sides and, for a moment, he doesn’t know which way to go.

At last he sees a path that leads into the trees and he steps upon it.  He hears merry laughter and turns to see a figure dance by a short way off.  As he looks closer, he sees that there is not one path, but many.  There are more than he can count.  And on every path there are folks of all sizes, shapes, colors and ages.  All of them are moving, dancing and playing.  He moves along, taking one path after another.  With each new path he meets more of the magical folk.  Soon, all fear passes away from him.  It is replaced with joy, exuberance and love for his new found friends.  He dances and plays with a freedom he has never known before.

After a time, he looks back at the cabin.  The door is closed but he is not sad.  The joy he has found far exceeds the comfort he had known there.  Then he notices a figure standing inside the window looking out.  Together with the other folks in the woods he whispers, “Open the door.  Come out and walk in the woods.”

As he watches the figure looking out the window longingly, he feels at peace.  He knows there is no hurry.  When the time is right, the person who now occupies the cabin will find the courage to open the door


Jay DeForest

1991

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