Scattered through this mystical place lay thriving undergrowths, quiet clearings and hollowed trees in which all types of creatures flourished; each one in pursuit of their own personal treasure. Surveying the land ahead, Grandma Tilly’s words reverberated in Daisy’s head. You will find a place with your treasure inside. This must be the place. But as the days passed, no treasure was found.
Despite her initial disappointment, Daisy felt confident she could succeed and was determined to carry on. One morning, whilst sitting on a log, she felt a deep, warm glow in her stomach. This intuitive sensation led her to whisper aloud.
“Over there, at the base of that tree, under a silhouette of a heart, deep in the ground.”
Driven by this inner knowing, she scurried over to the tree and started to dig. Pulling back the dirt and loose roots, Daisy discovered the opening of a hole. Excited, she reached in and pulled out a beautiful diamond. Using her delicate paws to polish the grimy surface, the precious stone sparkled in the sunlight. Gazing down at it, she noticed something inside. There, deep in the centre of the diamond, was her name, Daisy. Realisation brightened her eyes. This was her special treasure! She stared at the diamond, in awe of its beauty. Many of the facets sparkled, reflecting the brilliance of the sun. However, some facets also appeared dull. She tried to polish them, but nothing happened. They stayed the same. But Daisy was unperturbed.
The diamond was beautiful. She had found her treasure! She felt at peace. Yet, strangely, she recalled having felt the same sense of peace before discovering her diamond. Daisy spent the rest of the day with Milo, relaxed and calm in this land of precious treasure.
The next morning they found their way back to the river. Intending to make their way downstream, they were surprised to find another bridge. It stood as the exit from this place. They also found a pretty, fawn- coloured mouse sitting there, as if waiting for them.
“Did you find your treasure?” the mouse asked. “Yes.”
“Oh good! I’m Chia, but everyone calls me Chi.” She turned her eyes toward the precious rock clutched in Daisy’s paws.
Daisy held out the diamond, her eyes alight with pride, “It’s wonderful! I love it.”
Just as Chi was about to speak, Milo interrupted.
“Do you know how to polish these facets?” he asked, pointing out the duller faces of the jewel, “They won’t sparkle like the others.”
Instantly, Chi’s ears pricked. She became interested – as if she had some knowledge to pass on.
“What did you think of the bridge that led into this land?”
Milo shrugged, “Not much. It wasn’t called anything.” “Why do you think that was?” Chi asked, watching him closely.
“I never really thought about it.” Milo’s brow furrowed, “I have no idea.”
“That bridge is called the ‘Inner treasure’ bridge,” Chi answered. “The reason that no one is there is because it is better to discover your inner treasure for yourself. All the bridges you have crossed have guided you to find your treasure.”
Daisy found her diamond, yet how do you know that this treasure wasn’t for both of you, but you just can’t see it yet? When you arrived at this bridge, Daisy said she loved it, but you wanted to make the dull facets sparkle. What were you focusing on?”
Milo paused. He hadn’t considered this. Sensing his dawning realisation, Chi took the opportunity to continue.
“Let me tell you a little story about myself. Remember when you met Doc on your journey? I was one of those creatures who did not leave the wood, numbing myself with rose syrup. Once I reached rock bottom, I decided I had to face my problems and parts of myself that I did not like.” She shook her small head, “I found it very difficult living without the rose syrup at first. It was not until I discovered the ‘You Think As You Eat’ bridge that I became calm enough to find my treasure.
It was a long time before I left this land, as it bothered me so much that the facets of my own diamond would not polish up and shine. When I finally left, I sought how to polish the diamond. I learned many things in my travels, over by the rivers in the East. That was why I became known as ‘Chi’.”
Fascinated, Milo and Daisy leaned closer as Chi cast her mind back. She continued with a smile.
“But it was not until a wise creature told me, ‘A gem cannot be polished without friction and a creature cannot be perfected without trials,’ that I truly understood. Like the diamond, we each have many parts. Some strong, some not so strong. It is easy to accept our strengths, but not our weaknesses. Yet sometimes our greatest fears become our greatest strengths when put under great challenges.
Like and accept all your parts. This bridge is the ‘Accept Yourself ’ bridge. Sometimes you can’t change things; all you can do is accept them. Often it takes courage to change. But remember that if you accept yourself and your situation, you will always feel better.”
Enlightened by this creature’s wise words, Milo and Daisy asked for further direction. Chi sat back and stretched a paw out, motioning along a trail.
“Follow this path. You’ll meet a friend of mine who will help you with everything you have learned on your journey.”
Chapter 10. Cuba