Once upon a time there was a man who lived on a hillside above a broad valley. Every morning he looked out of the window across the valley. On the hillside on the other side of the valley was a house whose windows shone brightly.
“How wonderful it must be,” he said to himself, “to live in that house. It must be a very happy house to live in. Look how the windows shine.”
He looked at his drab little house and his worries seemed to press in on him.
One morning when he looked at the house with the shining windows he decided to go there. He wanted to meet the people who lived in such a wonderful house. He set off in high spirits to walk down the hill and across the valley.
He had been down to the valley before to buy provisions, but he had never walked all the way across. He found it was further than he thought. By midday he was only halfway across and stopped in a village for food and rest. But he soon set off again as he was eager to reach the house with the shining windows.
When he started climbing the hill on the other side of the valley, the house was hidden by the trees. The hill was steep, but he pressed on. Eventually he came out into a clearing, and there was the house. But the windows weren’t shining. His heart sank in disappointment.
He didn’t understand it. He was certain it was the right house. Up close it didn’t look any different to his own house. He turned and looked back across the valley at his own house, and gasped in wonder. The windows on his house were shining brightly!
“How can this be?” he asked himself. “There is nothing wonderful in my house to make the windows shine.”
He looked around and saw the shadows lengthening as the sun began to go down, and then he realised – it was the sun! In the morning when the sun rose it shone on the windows of the house across the valley. In the evening when the sun set it shone in the windows of his house.
“How foolish I am,” he said. “All this time I have wanted shining windows, and they were there all along!”
And he resolved to go home and make the best of the life that he had and stop envying other people.
The soil is softer,
The tasks less stubborn,
The laughter quicker,
The hearts less worn,
The grass greener…
But the grass is not greener
The grass grows greener
Where you water it.
Now, on this day,
Here, on this task,
On these hearts and mine,
Let the heavens open
And your reign shine.