“How much did you get?” his wife asked.
Justin looked down and moaned, “Three big dudes attacked me. They pushed me down and ran off with the bike. I tried to catch them, but they disappeared.”
“What the...? Did you tell the police?”
“I flagged down a police officer, and he said that he would make a report. He also said that they’re probably not going to find it.” Justin sighed and gazed at the carpet.
“Oh my God, Justin, what are we going to do now?” Patricia cried.
“I’ll think of something. I always do.” Justin tried to give her a hug.
Patricia broke away and stormed back into her room.
Justin found an empty pot in the tiny fenced off area in back of the apartment and put some soil in it. Then he planted one of the golden seeds. He prayed that it would grow quickly.
When he woke up the next morning, golden coins were floating above the pot. “Patricia, look! Come see. Come see!” he blurted out.
“Why are you making such a racket?”
“The tree with the golden coins has grown, just like the old man said it would!”
“What old man?”
“The old man on the street. I traded my bike for his golden seeds, and one of them grew into this tree with invisible branches and golden coins over night.”
“Not only are you a liar. You are a fool. There are no golden coins, Justin. That is just a pot filled with dirt. You have finally lost your mind! Do you realize what you have done? Now we have no money for food or rent!”
“What do you mean? Don’t you see them. They’re right here!” Justin reached up and touched one of the golden coins, which caused a strange sensation.
“You have totally lost it, Justin! I don’t know what we’re going to do now. Maybe Thomas and I should go live with my mother!” She ran back to the bedroom and slammed the door. He could hear muffled sobbing through the wall.
He reached up and touched the coin again. For some reason he imagined himself a king surrounded by golden objects in a blue room, and he felt a deep sense of harmony and abundance.
“I've really done it this time,” Justin thought. He opened the bedroom door and found his wife sitting up in bed with her hands covering her face. Then he quietly closed the door and returned to the tree and stared at the golden coins that his wife had insisted were not there.
Justin wandered down the street, looking for the old man, hoping that he would still have the bike.
"Why am I such a misfit?" he wondered. He couldn’t digest dairy at all and would be bent over for days if he ate an egg. Eating gluten gave him heart palpitations--and almost every food contained gluten. Corn, which was also in almost every food, caused joint pain and severe stomach problems and fatigue as well as depression. He never complained, but he couldn’t trust food, and consequently he couldn’t trust the world.
But it was deeper than that: He felt exaltations and inspirations that he could not explain. He couldn’t help it--he experienced wild enthusiasms for nature and the arts. He could hike all day looking at birds and flowers, and he could sit all day composing music or painting a picture or writing a poem--when he should be out looking for work. But whenever he got a job, the world seemed dull and empty, and coworkers soon realized he was different. Most jobs didn’t last long.
But now he needed to do something fast.
Take the next path.
Find a path on the Experimental Range.