The bottles all bobbed and floated downstream. The crystal bottles sparkled and shone in the sunlight; the coloured bottles diffused colour into the surrounding water, the bottles that once held sweet perfumes emanated a slight scent. Some of the bottles thought they were wonderful, some felt thy were plain and ugly and the Great Spirit saw this and smiled because they had all been filled from the same sweet water source.
As they all rushed along on their journey, some of the bottles smashed against rocks early into the journey, the water inside joining with that of the river. Some of the bottles got pulled down by weeds and plant roots; some got stuck on mud shoals, of which some got nudges from passing frogs and fishes or even other bottles and so managed to get back into the stream. Some went on far ahead, carried along by currents and some spun round and round, caught in whirlpools. All gave up the water inside, back into the Mighty River.
Of the many bottles that had started the journey together up in the hills, at the River's source, only some made it to the Great Sea, their sweet water mingling with the salt of the Sea. Only a very few realised that in reality they were all the same, because they had all been filled from the same source and made the same essential journey, with the essential purpose of giving back to the Great River the water they carried in them. Whatever the outer shape and colour, whether long or short the journey, whether the giving back to the River was sudden and catastrophic or gradually ebbing out, they were all of the same essence and the purpose of the journey was the same, to carry the sweet water, keeping it sweet as long as possible, and then giving it back to the River.
May we all realise our purpose before the end of our journeys.