Walking down Memory Lane
It was one of those beautiful days and the sun had spread her light into the garden. In a comfortable wheelchair sat an old, friendly white-bearded man. All by himself, no company but the trees and a lot of bright coloured flowers. And of course, birds who were tuning their spirit up to the sun's rays. This kind old man sat quietly and for a moment he seemed to have forgotten the book he was reading. He looked up at the sky as if looking for something. 'No clouds today,' seemed to occur in his mind. Then he became lost in a whirlpool of memories. He wandered through a landscape as vivid and wide as life itself and was thrown back in an endless world full of memories. There he was, running on his bare feet in the garden at home; yes, it had been this very same garden! A scent of leaves and grass, still wet with dew, seemed to embrace him. The dawn, tender and fresh with the newly awakened rays of the sun, held out its face to greet this young boy beneath the trembling vesture of palm-leaves. Nature shut her hands and laughingly asked: 'What have I got inside?' The little boy's heart opened and made him mad with joy. He saw clouds come up in the sky one by one. He felt surrounded by a companionship very intense and intimate, though he did not know how to name it. He felt an exceeding love for Nature, though he was too young to describe it in words. But life sometimes was not that much fun, not even for him. Many a time he found himself captured in the middle of a white chalked circle, drawn on the ground in the lower apartments of the big house. This sort of captivity made him feel quite lonely, and while looking through the window he pictured himself what was going on in the outer world. What more did he enjoy, this young, timid brown-eyed boy?
The old man in the chair knew it all too well: the sounds of words. For him, it was almost as if spoken words produced melodious sounds. Yes, that's how it all began. In the earliest memory of his young life he was attrackted to the sound of spoken words.
As he grew up he soon discovered what else life had in store for him. The book which lay in the old man's hands, slowly slipped on to the grass. He had no notice of it. Again his thoughts crossed the unbound land of hopes, dreams, loves, sorrows and pains. But he knew too well that these parts of life were of natural order. He had grown into life and had learned to deal with all that was offered to him. He understood the challenges being offered to every human being, anywhere in the world, but some challenges were greater and harder to bear than others. But he felt strong, always eager to explore and not afraid to start anew. He could still remember his most inner revealing moments, most heavenly, as if it happened only yesterday.
One morning, standing at the roof of the house in Sudder Street, he looked towards the trees at the end of the street. The sun slowly rose above the screen of their leaves, and while watching, suddenly, in the wink of an eye, a veil seemed to be lifted from his eyes. He found the world wrapt in an inexpressingly glory with waves of joy and beauty bursting and breaking on alll sides. It pearced through his heart and lighted it with a magnificent brightness. He remembered there was nothing and no one whom he did not love at that moment. He stood on the roof and watched the coolies as they tramped down the road. Their movements, their shapes, their countenances seemed to be strangely wonderful to him, as if they were all moving like waves in the great ocean of Life.
He seemed to witness, in his entire vision, the movements of the body of all humanity and felt the beat and rhythm of a mystic dance. He realized then he had been allowed to look behind the veil of life which normally humans is not given. But for some unknown reason, this young man, almost grown up, was permitted to this once of a lifetime experience. After that divine moment he had only one wish -- to express the fullness of life, its beauty, its perfection -- if only the veil were withdrawn.
But this particular sunny day this noble old man had grown weak after almost eighty years. He had accepted life gratefully but had never lost sight of his inner strength which had led him so steadily all the way. 'Guidance will do no harm,' he had always told himself and he remembered welcoming some guidance in order to grow and develop; he even guided many youngsters himself as well. His guidance came from different angles in life: relatives, good friends and God. And he had shown gratitude to all of them, but most of all to God. In times where one should wonder if there ever was a God listening to the despair of men, this noble man hardly felt any doubt at all. That was when he found himself singing on occasions when his heart poured out the love he kept hidden inside ...