Once there was a young boy who was walking down a dusty dirt road and saw a white stone. It stood out to him because it was unlike any of the other stones he had ever seen, which were always dusty and brown and angular, whereas this stone was smooth and oval and the dust seemed unable to cling to it. To him, the stone seemed to reflect a perfection that he was not even aware of and so he put it in his pocket as a treasure.

As the months passed, the boy grew more and more fond of this simple stone to the point that he actually began to love the way it caught the light and reflected it back. He carried it everywhere with him in his pocket, always near.

And so the boy loved this stone and he thought it loved him too because when the sun was in a particular point in the sky and when the light was just right, he could see a very faint outline of his reflection on the stones surface.

One day the young boy was walking along the same dusty road when he noticed that the stone was no longer in his pocket. Frantically putting his hand into his pocket he was dismayed to find that there was a hole in the bottom of his pocket and realised the stone must have fallen through it.

Retracing his steps along the dusty road he found the stone again but even more tragically, he discovered that it had broken into two pieces. Unsure what to do, he took the two pieces back to his mother and asked what he could do to fix it.

“Why do you want to fix what is clearly broken. Nothing can make it whole and complete again,” she said sympathetically.

So the boy was heartbroken and held the two pieces of his heart in his hands. And as he sat there remorsefully, he noticed some things that he had never noticed before. Firstly, if the stone was truly perfect it wouldn’t have split from such a small drop. The second thing that the boy noticed was that no matter how he tried he could not see his reflection in the stone anymore and thought it didn’t love him anymore. The final thing that the boy noticed was that because the stone was white all the way through, that it never absorbed light at all and just reflected back whatever was around it. To him this meant that the stone had never even accepted his love in the first place.

Now the young boy was dismayed at this own stupidity. “How could a white stone ever love me?” he cried. “I will find myself a perfect black stone, because that surely that will be better than this imperfect white one.”

And so the boy started walking down the dusty dirt road looking for a perfect black stone. He searched and searched for weeks and weeks, and weeks became months, but finally he noticed a small dull black stone that to him seemed perfect. Like before, he put it in his pocket (because his mother had sewn the hole in it) and began to treasure it.

He kept hold of it for a very long time (which for a young boy meant that he kept it for months) and loved it more than the white one, because he knew his love was being absorbed into the stone. It came to pass however, that an unease began to creep over him because he didn’t know if the stone was happy or not because he had never been able to see his reflection.

As more time passed he began to realise the fact that the stone was unable to show its love for him and was dismayed once again.

“How can I love a black stone which always absorbs my love but never gives anything back? This stone must not love me at all,” he wailed. “What I need to find is a clear stone: one that does not reflect light, nor absorb it, but allows my love to pass through it.”

Starting off on the same dusty dirt road, the young boy began his search again. Across hills and mountains, in streams and rivers and on the shores of the ocean he searched, looking for a perfect clear stone. Time passed and the young boy became a young man but still he looked for this perfect thing for him to love.

One day, after a another fruitless day of searching, the young man was walking back to his house along the same dusty dirt road when he saw a young lady beneath a tree looking at flowers. She seemed unhappy for some reason.

“You do not look happy,” said the young man.

“I am not,” she replied. “I am looking for a flower to love me, but have been searching for years and years and have never found one that didn’t wilt and die in my hands.”

Looking closely at the young lady, the young man realised a simple thing and forgot all about stones.

Looking closely at the young man, the young lady realised a simple thing and forgot all about flowers.

And so they gave their love to each other and saw their love reflected back tenfold.

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