Four Bedouins are lumbering on camels through the desert beneath an inky star speckled firmament tracking a stream of light on the horizon foretelling a momentous event in a village called Bethlehem.

As they draw closer to the luminous silhouette of the village three lavishly attired strangers feverishly ride out of the blanket of darkness beating their camels to gallop faster. The Bedouins plead with them to stop, explain their haste and relieve the weary camels.

The strangers recount discovering in Bethlehem within a stall behind a tavern a newborn infant being cradled and suckled in the arms of an exhausted youthful mother, an older man and placid moist-eyed beasts standing motionless in the shadows.

They caution the Bedouins that they will be admonished by the mother to open their hearts, allow her child to be born in them and give all they have to the poor, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort the mournful, be humble and compassionate.

The strangers tell the Bedouins how they became anxious as the mother spoke, picked up their satchels of treasure, bolted out of the stable, climbed on their camels and galloped back to their realms murmuring “That woman is asking too much of us.”

As the strangers fade into the darkness, the Bedouins gently nudge their camels and continue to follow the light toward Bethlehem.

David was a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for 35 years before the publication of his first collection of poems, “A Heart on Fire, Poems from the Flames.” He continues to write poetry and makes presentations on poetry of Eastern and Western Mystics and leads poetry workshops as a faculty member of OLLI College at the University of Southern Maine. David is a regular contributor to Kind Over Matter. David plays the “Shakuhachi,” a Japanese bamboo flute used in Zen Buddhist meditation and celebration. He combines his flute music with poetry readings. He has taught Tibetan and Western poetry to Buddhists monks at Sera Jhy Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in South India. He earned his Master of Theology and Ph.D. in Pastoral Psychology degrees from Boston University. You can contact David via email or follow him on his website.

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