The Prince of Hope – by Menno Pauls

The Prince of Hope – by Menno Pauls

While on my travels
I met a man
Who was most different
From others that I’ve seen.

On his chest
He wore a star-like symbol
That had more points
Than ones we’re prone to draw.

A strange shimmering light
Seemed to come from his cloak
And I asked him
If I could wear it.

He gave it to me and I tried it on
But disappointment hit my eyes,
For the light, so shimmering bright,
It did not shine for me.

I looked back at him,
Saw him gently smile,
And saw the light
Still shone from him.

And in my mind I also saw
That the light
Did not come with his cloak
But from somewhere else deep inside.

I asked him
Where he was from
And why it was
That he had come.

He answered, saying:

“I am from distant shores
So far away that ships of space
Which you possess
Will never touch,
Yet so close
That your heart
Can nearly see.”

And then he said:

“I am the Prince of Hope,
Come to help those find
What they have lost.

With a message of hope
For all the crusaders
Of justice and freedom
Who believe they are surrounded
And cut off from the front.

I have come to ask
Those trying to follow
The many low ideas
Of self-proclaimed leaders,
To stop, think, and search
For the higher ideals
That each possesses deep within.

Let not the prophets of doom
Confuse and frighten
And totally un-enlighten
As you prepare yourself
To weather the passing
Of yet another season.

There are many who believe
That the end of this season
Is the End of Time.

Let not those, blinded by fear,
Keep you from realizing
That after fall and winter
A brighter spring will come.”

Although we met in summer,
In but a moment
He took me to a time and place
Where snow was falling
And icy winds nipped at my face.

And he said:

“Follow in my footsteps
and I will help you
through the storm.”

As we walked along
I saw a tree
With no leaves,
Standing naked as if dead.

The Prince, as if he had read my mind,
Walked over to the seemingly lifeless tree
And somehow opened up the tree
To its very core.

There at the centre
He pointed out
That its sap, its lifeforce,
Was still slowly flowing.

Then he swiftly closed the opening
And scraped away the snow at its base,
Revealing a patch of ground.

On the ground lay dead leaves
Which once had been part of the tree.
He pointed to the leaves;
They came to life
And then changed into people.

They seemed totally
Obsessed with self,
Not caring what happened
To others around them.

Then the Prince pointed to the people;
They turned back to leaves.
The leaves went back to the ground
and the snow covered them once more.

I asked the Prince
“And what of spring,
How does it look then?”

And in a flash of time
the snow disappeared
And the blossoms were
Of a sweeter fragrance
Than any I had ever smelled before.
There were colours in the blossoms
that were strange to the eyes.

As we flashed through time
I noticed that the weather
Was strangely different;
Not as severe as I’m used to.
And the rain would appear at night,
Like a heavy dew

I was about to ask him
What the people were doing in spring
When the Prince spoke, saying:

You are not viewing the perfect season
But rather one moving towards perfection.

I cannot show you
the people
beneath it all
But I can tell you this.

There is more of a oneness about them,
A moving towards unity.
A greater understanding
of how each one
Relates to the whole .

Civilizations come and go
but the best of a civilization
survives to form
the foundation of the next.

Like seeds hibernating
through the cold winter
they sprout when the warmth
of spring touches them.”

I asked my guide
“Will I be part
of that tree…
In this spring?”

And he answered:

“No, the time of this season
will be beyond your time.
But you have the opportunity
of being part of the sunshine
and the rain
that give the tree life.”

The Prince and I
Went back to the place
Where we first met,
and as we walked along the beach
I asked him of things
That lay upon my mind.

“There are many who seek an easy trip
and wish for me to share.”

The Prince did not answer me with words
but quickly took me to an airport,
to where they all depart.

And I saw many people rushing about,
picking destinations
to who knows where
and paying with money
they could ill afford.

And I saw a few
who patiently stood in line
and had their tickets
well in hand.

I watched them all
carried high
into the sky
and off in all directions.

Then the Prince took me
to the place of arrivals
of that same terminal.
And there I saw planes coming in
and from them stepped
the ones I’d seen depart.

The many who seemed in haste,
To look at them you’d think
Their trip looked blank,
Their hearts were empty,
Their minds could not describe
Just where they’d been.

And to top it all
the bill was yet to pay.

And if my memory had not failed
I’d swear I saw some leave
who did not come back home again.

And the ones
who had calmly boarded
were still calm
but happiness was added to them.

Then the Prince said:

“The truly great and beautiful places
your heart yearns to go
will not vanish while your mind
earns the right to share a seat.”