It had not been an easy journey for Congruence. He had set forth with grand ambitions, lofty ideals and many followers, but it wasn’t long before companions left him, appalled by the uncertain demands of the road.
His robes, once a pristine satin white, were now sullied and worn from the effort of travel. He’d had to endure the public heat of day, unexpected storms, dense fog, treacherous quagmires, and sudden tricky hills he did not know how to climb, except one slow step at a time, trying not to slip.
It was seldom clear what his next milestone would be. Many times he stumbled over unseen crevices in the dark, without even the mercy of moonlight to guide him. And always there were things to be taken care of: shelter, the next meal, the safety of his wife and child. But not once did he think of turning back.
To survive, he learnt how to swim, to speak plainly, to move quickly when necessary, to wait and to rest. He developed a deep distaste for masks and a healthy respect for mirrors. But he was always kind to those who seemed lost or afraid to cross the desert. By leading the way, he showed them how to keep going forward and to navigate by their own stars.
At a toll-booth he was detained by Doubt, who demanded proof that he knew where he was going; and whether he had sufficient funds or a return ticket. Empyting his pockets, Congruence displayed the wealth of stories and spare tears he had earned along the way, and pointed in the direction of the future.
This was how, at last, Congruence arrived at the feast. It did not matter that he was dusty and bruised from his voyage, nor that other guests had already taken their places. With open arms they welcomed him and listened in awe as he described landscapes and heartlands that no one else before had walked or witnessed. He spoke of how in his darkest moments when the path seemed lost, the clear song of his wife, Conviction, had kept him from wandering astray.
“Truly,” he said, “it is what we love that gives us our names.”
Then their son Integrity -- who had started the journey as an infant and was now a grown man -- stepped forward proudly and began to sing.