There once was a man who heard about gold in the hills. He heard about how all he needed to was stand in the river with a pan and sift through the rocks and he would find nuggets of gold that would make him rich beyond belief. Hearing this news he packed up his belongings and headed to the mountains with high hopes. He was so excited he told everyone that he came in contact with about his journey and how rich he was about to become. He became so obsessed about the gold he began seeing a golden goose laying golden eggs in his dreams.
Day after day he stood in the stream with his pants legs rolled up and the biggest grin a man could have. The first day he caught nothing. The second day he caught nothing. The third day he caught nothing. The entire first week he caught nothing. His enthusiasm remained through the roof because he just knew he was going to find his nuggets. The second week went by and he still found nothing. He still remained enthusiastic but it began to slowly dissipate. The third week his eyes lit up on the fourth day. He thought he found a nugget but it was only a rock covered in shiny mud. All of the air had been knocked out him upon realizing this.
With each passing day he began to slowly become more and more frustrated. He remained in the mountains for three months before he gave up. He packed up his belongings and went home a defeated man. He was a shadow of his former self. On his way home he stopped at the general store by to get something to eat and get some tobacco. While paying for his goods he saw newspaper out the corner of his eye. Local man strikes it big the paper title said. He read the paper out of curiosity. What he read made his mouth drop. The paper said the man found 12 gold nuggets weighing 5 pounds in a creek. Lucky guy he thought. He picked up his items and left the store. He got his carriage and went about his way.
The whole ride home he thought how could this guy get so lucky and not him. He began to feel sorry for himself and took a swig out of his flask. As he started to get closer to his house he noticed more carriages on the road than usual and the drivers didn’t appear to be from around there. He paid it no mind and rode up the hill to his house. He began to unload his things and settle down. He decided to brew some tea. He put in a big glass pitcher and decided to put it out his back porch.
When he went outside to put the tea on his porch he saw at 100 people down in the creek bed behind his house. He put the tea pitcher down and ran down to the creek bed. He asked the first person he saw what’s going on? The stranger said haven’t you heard? He shook his head and said no. I been away for awhile. The stranger said this is the creek where the fella found 5 pounds of gold. He shook his head in disbelief and then a light bulb went off in his head. He had forgot that the river he was panning for gold in had tributaries and the creek behind his house was one of them. He had become so blinded by the stories of others that he neglected to check for gold in his own backyard. The moral of the story; don’t go looking for gold in other places until you have checked the creek outback.
A lot of times in life we hear stories that make us want to go and chase the impossible and by doing so we waste time and energy. If we would simply stop and take the time to find the gold within we would become wealthy beyond our wildest dreams but we chase the imaginary thinking its better than what we already have. Pan the creek my friends, by all means pan your creek.