A moist, cold wind set in as Little Pine approached the end of the pond where Grandfather lived and the woodland grew dark. But Grandfather himself was bathed in a magical golden glow that radiated all around him.
He looked so majestic that Little Pine hardly dared to speak. “Grandfather!” he finally breathed.
And the ancient tree, in a voice as warm and golden as the light that surrounded him, said, “Greetings, Little Pine. I have been looking forward to visiting with you. I wanted to thank you for all you have done to help prepare for our Festival of Light this year.”
“But Grandfather,” Little Pine said, “all that I have done is share the news that the Elf King and the Spirits of Fun are coming. And I learned so much and had such a good time doing it that it felt like play.”
“That’s how you know that your work is well-suited to you, Little Pine. It feels like play. The Spirits of Fun would be as proud of you as I am.
“You performed a great service for your friends, the elves, Little Pine. And service to others always brings us joy.”
Grandfather paused for a moment as the wind danced through his needles making them glisten in the golden light. Then he spoke again.
“Tell me what lessons you learned, Little Pine, as you shared your news.”
“Well, Grandfather,” said Little Pine, “I learned that the Great Yes understands the mysteries that we cannot unravel and that we can take comfort in trusting that. I learned to hear more deeply the songs that all things sing, and to recognize they all rise from love. And finally, I saw, as I have never seen before, how beautiful our woodland is.”
“Your heart has gathered great treasures, Little Pine. You are wise beyond your years,” Grandfather said. “The night is coming now, little one. Head home with joy in your heart. Your joy and your thanks are the gifts that you give to the Yes, you know. Let them flow from you freely, and be glad.”
“Thank you, Grandfather,” Little Pine said. “Enjoy the Festival!”
“You, too, Little Pine,” said Grandfather. “Now, good night. And remember to pay attention to your dreams.”