a young woman came to a village known for its lawlessness
the robbers soon found that they could not take from her
because although making hard-earned wages
she identified with the poor
and stored up riches in loving relationships
the slanderers could not diminish her reputation
because she spoke well of the slanderers openly
and her integrity was well established
the corrupt religious authorities
could not lay upon her shame and fear
because she was awake to the way of things

many years later when she old and dying
she was visited by a woman of the woods
who asked her,
“in all your years here
the village has not changed for the better
but in many ways become worse.
are you not frustrated?”
and she replied,
“it was never my intention
to change a person or village.
i was only living the way
i learned from listening to
frogs, and watching sparrows.”

she died having lived a very happy life