One day while walking on the beach I found a bottle with a little story in it . . .
In a house on a hill lived two runners. Both were moderate distance runners with about the same abilities. Each could get enough to eat and drink on their own and both were content.
For the last several years there has been little rain, and the animals of the plain have become smarter and harder to catch for food. This was the first drought the runners had ever seen. Nearby pools of water dried up, and there were no more slow animals. Neither runner was fast enough to catch the fast animals, and neither had the endurance to run over the hill to the lake for water. The runners became thirstier and hungrier. They both wondered, “what are we to do?”
A solution came floating down from the sky on a red piece of paper. If they agreed, they could exchange abilities. One runner would give to the other some of their endurance and in return receive some speed. The faster runner could catch the animals and the runner with endurance could run over the hill to the lake for water. This meant that they had to share.
They tore up the existing agreement between them and made this new agreement. They were transformed into a short distance sprinter and a long distance marathoner. The sprinter caught animals for food and the marathoner ran over the hill to the lake for water. They shared and it was good. For some reason, they both felt something was missing . . . some emptiness. But they were so happy to have food and drink that they didn't notice. The sprinter liked the fact that he was faster than the marathoner. She just smiled.
In late March monsoon rains larger then ever before showered. Pools of water formed everywhere and it was easy for both of them to get water. The marathoner, who no longer had to run over the hill to the lake for water, had lots of free time and relaxation. The marathoner tried to help catch food but she was too slow, even to catch the slowest of animals, so she just relaxed. The marathoner enjoyed her vacation and started a diary of their life together. She wanted to do something to help out and felt guilty, but said nothing. He wanted her to make him a new pair of sprinting shoes but he never asked. The sprinter thought that the marathoner was wasting time writing in her diary and thought that she didn’t care to help out. He said nothing.
The animals became faster and harder to catch with the abundance of water. The Sprinter became worn down and started being mean to her. The sprinter ate more and gave less food to the marathoner. She felt resentment, but said nothing. She pretended the resentment didn’t exist, even to herself. The relationship looked ok from the outside, but inside they started to become distant from each other.
One day the sun became very hot. The monsoon rains stayed and the hot sun quickly turned all the nearby pools of water into mud puddles, so water became scarce. The marathoner had to start running over the hill to the lake for water again.
The air became hot and humid. The animals became slower in the humidity. The sprinter easily caught food and had much free time and relaxation. He tried to run over the hill once to help her get water at the lake, but he didn’t even make it halfway. So instead he started chasing animals for fun and made a game out of it. The marathoner couldn’t believe the sprinter was wasting his energy in such a ludicrous way. She wished the sprinter would do fun things with her. She said nothing.
The thick air strained the marathoner so she was able to carry less and less water from the lake. She became irritated and started snapping rudely at the sprinter. The marathoner drank more and gave less water to the sprinter. This angered the sprinter but he pretended not to care. Neither of them said anything. They became even more distant. She stopped writing in the diary.
In April the rains doubled and the sun cooled a bit. The rains were so heavy that pools of water formed over the mud puddles. The plains turned into a swampy marsh. Water was everywhere and easy for both of them to get. The animals became really slow and easy for both of them to catch. Food and water was plentiful and easy for both sprinter and marathoner to get on their own.
The runners shared less and less, and one day they became so distant from each other, they completely stopped sharing. They missed each other although neither would admit it. The emptiness grew.
Summer arrived and the weather became hotter and drier. The nearby pools of water started to dry up. The marsh slowly transformed back into a plain. The animals of the plain become even smarter, faster and harder to catch.
The sprinter ran faster and faster to get both food and water for himself and his muscles became hard and tense. He became exhausted, so he slept more. His tension caused him to use up more energy, even while resting, so he became even more exhausted.
The marathoner took longer and longer to get both food and water for herself and her long flexible muscles started to tatter and fray. She became drained, so she ate more. Her hunger drove her to spend long hours catching food, so she became even more drained.
Both wore down their bodies. They knew if they shared again it would be easier, but neither wanted to be the first to ask. One day the sprinter's legs became so hard and tense that they cramped and he could not move. He fell to the ground and cried out for help. The marathoner heard him. She ran to him and tried to help, but there was a river of troubled waters between them. The river had dark orange colored water and it had formed when they had stopped sharing. She could still feel her resentment towards him for being mean to her. She tried to let go of her resentment, but her grip was too strong. She felt ashamed.
She walked for a bit until she came upon an apple tree. She had never eaten plants before. She picked and ate an apple and its sweetness filled her mouth. It reminded her of how sweet she used to be. She ran back to the sprinter with an armful of apples.
She looked and saw that his heart was smaller then hers. She saw that the sprinter had given up some of his heart to her so that she could pump blood for long hours, which added to her endurance. She saw that his smaller heart could beat very fast, and that helped his speed, but he tired quickly. She started to see what each gave to the other so that one could be fast, and the other could endure.
She wept. Her grip relaxed and she let go of her resentment. It fell into the earth along with her teardrops. She looked up and a beautiful violet light shined on an emerald green crystal bridge lined with roses of all colors stretching across the river of troubled orange colored waters. As she ran across the bridge the roses disappeared into flashes of light. Everything became clear and she could see what to do. She touched his cramped leg. He awoke and she greeted him. Her softness spread through his body relaxing his hard muscles and draining his tension. The sprinter began floating in air and for a moment he felt like all he needed to live was her soft touch.
She massaged his strong solid muscles. His strength and solidness spread throughout her body and started to heal her tattered and frayed muscles. She felt good after letting go of her resentment. Her pride in herself grew a little. She also became a little more strong and solid. The marathoner helped the sprinter back to the house on the hill. He felt soft and warm and told her he felt cared for. She glowed.
The marathoner gathered water and food for both of them. Providing for two strained her tattered and frayed muscles even more. She hid this from him and herself. To make things easier she planted an apple tree outside their house. They needed less animals and water, because the apples provided food and apple juice!
Now this was the first time the sprinter was ever hurt. He didn’t like being slower and weaker than her. He felt uncomfortable being dependant on her for everything.
Time passed. The sprinter recovered. Caring for two without rest and self care tattered and frayed the marathoner’s muscles almost beyond repair. She continued to hide this from the sprinter and herself.
While carrying water one day she twisted her leg and injured her hip. She fell to the ground in pain. She cried out for help but the sprinter was too far away to hear.
At the end of the day the sprinter wondered where the marathoner was and went looking. He found her and tried to help her, but there was a yellow wall between them. He pushed the yellow wall, but it pushed back. He tried to break down the wall, but instead it grew bigger. He tried digging under the wall, building steps to climb over the wall, and a hundred other things but nothing worked. He became frustrated.
He remembered how hard he had to work and how little she worked when the monsoon rains came. He remembered how she snapped at him and was rude when the mud puddles came . . .
He remembered thinking that she didn’t care. These thoughts ran through his mind like a song you can’t get out of your head. He tried, but he just wouldn't let go of his anger.
He knew that this woman had just saved him and had cared for him. He went to the apple tree and ate the sweet apples and returned, but the yellow wall was still there. Thoughts of how she snapped at him and was rude kept running through his mind. He tried to ignore them, but they kept running.
He walked for a bit and passed by a pool of blue water and saw his reflection. He didn’t look like himself!? He kept looking at himself and his reflection changed. He started looking more like himself. In his tired frustration he shouted at his reflection "I don't want to be like this anymore . . . why am I like this?" He walked back to the yellow wall, laid down and fell into a deep slumber and dreamed of happier times.
A light blue rain fell and cooled his anger. He awoke and a beautiful violet light was shining. He saw the woman lying there with tattered and frayed legs. He saw her injured swollen hip and that she had lost her courage to fight for life. Her blood moved slowly through her body and her larger heart was heavy.
He saw that she had given him some of her courage, so that he could fight pain and fear while sprinting and catching the more dangerous animals. He saw that his blood moved fast while hers slow. He saw that she also carried some of his fat and this is what makes her soft. He remembered her soft touch and how he had once thought that it was all he needed to live.
He stepped back and stopped pushing. He sat and wept. He wished things were better between them. The angry thoughts ran right out of his mind. His tears dissolved the rage, and it fell into the earth along with his teardrops.
He looked up and the beautiful violet light shined on a path of bright green grass lined with roses of every color leading to a hidden door in the wall. He jumped up and ran down the path. As he ran down the path, the roses disappeared into flashes of light. Everything became clear and he could see what to do. When he got to her she was delirious and numb. She snapped at him and rudely told him to go away, and then she passed out. He felt hurt. The anger started to grow again, but he sat down, closed his eyes, took several deep breaths and shined as bright as he could with his own rainbow of brite light. The anger ran away.
He massaged her cold blue legs and circulated the blood in her body. He felt her wonderful softness and it softened him. His heart grew a little. He gently picked her up and carried her back to the house on the hill. She awoke cozy and warm and told him she felt cared for. He glowed.
The stars in the night sky saw this and wept. It rained so much the plains became a swampy marsh again. Food and water was easy to get. They remembered how last year when food and water was easy for both of them to get, they had completely stopped sharing. They remembered missing each other and told each other so. They wept together.
Each morning he brought her food and water and would carry her to a cool pool of blue water to heal the wound in her hip. The pain went away but her tattered and frayed muscles kept getting worse and weaker with no exercise. She was so weak she couldn’t even exercise to get better. The sprinter tried giving her more water, more food, more apples but nothing worked. He became stressed.
Months went by and she continued to weaken. His stress ate away at himself. He became exhausted and hopeless. It was late summer and winter was approaching. They both wondered, “what are we to do?” They hugged. She asked him to get out the diary and continue writing where she left off. Then put the diary in a bottle and throw it to the stars so that hopefully another marathoner would find it and come and take her place after she died.
After she went to sleep he went outside, took out the diary and started writing. He was overcome with such grief and wept so many tears, that Stars flew across the night sky and sprinkled their magic dust on him to help comfort him. He ran back inside and saw her softly, beautifully sleeping. Time itself stopped for a moment to weep with him.
She awoke and saw the stardust sparkling around him. He looked at her and saw this reflected in her eyes. He rushed to her side and told her what had just happened. How the Stars flew across the sky and comforted him and how Time stopped and wept with him. He told her how he felt about her and that he loved her. Her heart began to pump faster and stronger than it ever had before.
He went back outside and finished writing the diary. Instead of putting the diary in a bottle and throwing it to the stars as she asked, he buried it. He did not want another woman. He could not even imagine being with anyone else. He felt his love for her and her love for him combine. His heart grew, then it broke in two. He looked down and saw all that was holding his heart together now was the emerald green bridge leading back to her. He knew that without her there would be no one to hold his heart together. He smiled.
Meanwhile, a little Angel was watching all of this. The little Angel flew behind the sprinter and whispered in his ear “try asking for help”. The sprinter took out a sheet of paper and wrote on it "What can I do? Please help". He put it in a bottle and threw it to the Stars. The bottle fell back to earth. He sighed and walked away. The little Angel laughed, swooped down and tied one end of a golden rope to the bottle and the other end to a Star.
The man sat and watched the bottle float away as the Star continued on its path across the night sky until it disappeared into the sun at dawn.
The man walked back to the house and noticed that a rose had grown where he had buried the diary. He went to pick the rose and it disappeared in a flash of light. Just then a light gold rain fell as the morning sun appeared. A magnificent rainbow stretched across the sky. Beautiful roses of every color began to grow and bloom everywhere. A golden rose from the sky descended and fell lightly on his head. He took this golden rose and gave it to the woman.
The golden rose inspired her. She suggested they savor their last days together and simply enjoy each other's company! No more hopeless gloom. They laughed and cried together. They discovered more and more things that they had given each other so that one could sprint and the other could endure. They marveled at the delicate balance that was created between the two of them. The exchange of abilities was a finely crafted work of art made up of puzzle pieces that fit perfectly together.
That night while the couple was sleeping the little Angel sprinkled gold dust in their eyes. Their eyes twitched and they dreamed the same dream. They were to create a new one. They had both learned how to care for each other and work together. They had both fell in love with each other. Now they were ready to care for a new one.
They reached out to each other and kissed for the first time. Both lips were soft yet firm, just as before the exchange. They looked into each other’s eyes, which were also just as before the exchange, but wiser. They loved and embraced and began to heal. The emptiness that had existed since the exchange was for an instant filled.
The next morning he carried her outside to see the many colored roses. He ran to the apple tree to get some apples for breakfast. As he ran back to her the sun was just rising. She was glowing with such beauty that when he saw her he dropped the apples and fell to his knees in awe of her beauty. They sat and hugged each other as they watched the sunrise.
That day they wrote another diary together and put it in a bottle. That night they tied it to a Star with a gold rope. They both watched the bottle float away as the Star continued on its path across the night sky until it disappeared into the sun at dawn. They smiled as they hugged each other and watched the sunrise again! They kissed and their chests filled with warmth as their hearts connected in love.
To celebrate they put love into gold roses and sent one down to the earth and another up to the sky. In return they felt loved by Mother Earth and Father Sky. Each then picked a rose and gave it to the other. Shiny gold rings appeared around the stems of the roses. The rings each had a small piece missing. They each took a ring and placed it on the other’s finger. As they did, the missing pieces filled with gold and sparkling diamonds appeared to mark the spot. They looked at each other and then themselves and saw that they both were glowing gold.
With each new day they got healthier. Time smiled and one day under a moonlit sky a new one, a little child was born, who dances among the many colored roses. And each night Time stops and joins the couple for a moment to watch their beautiful child softly sleeping.Till this day, the sprinter slows so that the marathon runner can keep up when they visit nearby places, and the marathon runner waits and rests with the sprinter when they visit far away places, always choosing to run side by side, as they take turns carrying their little one. J.Nakagawa“400 million years ago, they were the same molecule, present in the ancestor of both vertebrates and invertebrates. In all the eons since they split, oxytocin and vasopressin differ from one another by only two amino acids, out of a total of nine . . .” http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Publications/ZooGoer/2004/3/monogamy.cfm