I wrote a blog from 2006 -2009 called Blessed Madness (the name was inspired by a line I read in a Rumi poem) that I plan to publish soon, first as an e-book and then as a print book. This blog was a container for me to express myself during the time my marriage was unraveling and I was ripening spiritually. Mostly, it was a place to share the many downloads of insights and wisdom that were flowing into me during that period of my life.
From time to time, I'll post excerpts from Blessed Madness here on this blog. Here's the first one....
The Little Things
Wonder is the beginning of wisdom. ~ Anonymous
I met Abraham while working in a small metaphysical bookstore one summer. He came into the store one day dressed in brown shorts, a short-sleeved tan shirt and hiking boots. On his back was a student-sized backpack; in his hand he carried a five-foot walking stick. Right away this slender, middle-aged, slightly balding man approached me and handed me his card. Along with his name and telephone number, the card identified him as “A person at leisure.” I asked him what it meant, and instead of telling me, he spent the rest of the summer showing me.
Abraham’s smiling eyes and gems of wisdom visited me often during that summer. He taught me how to use the I Ching. We spent many hours, between customers, tossing coins and pondering life’s big questions. Each time he visited me, he brought me a gift. Once, he brought homemade bread. Another time, he gave me a jar of blueberry honey. Other days, I received various teas and incense, and once, a book. But when I would try and reciprocate, only rarely would he accept; his excuse was that it would be too much to carry.
He always came adorned with a bird’s feather or a flower, leaving an indelible impression of Abraham connected with nature. I could clearly see the respect he had for life. He told me that time is precious and that each moment must count, with no fear or hesitation; and like Gandhi, he thought we should discard what is not needed or useful. His way, of course, was to pass things along in the form of gifts to friends.
There was no room for clutter in his life, because he only lived in one small room. He claimed he did nothing most of the time, but he always seemed happy and laughed often with the carefree abandon of a child. Most days, when I asked him how he was, Abraham said “Incredible,” or “Wonderful, as always.”
When I moved away, he sent me postcards with short sweet messages and Japanese brush drawings. We stayed in touch for a while, and then drifted apart, but I never forgot his appreciation for the little things in life, his love of nature, his kindness to strangers, and his joy of living.