Today the story made full circle. As a child my father´s garden was a real paradise to me. There were trees, shrubs, crops. In between the plants there were exciting paths that nevertheless felt safe. In summer the green coolness of the leaves protected me from the scorching sun. There were animals, too, but I did not call the animals by their names. Nothing had a name yet: the plants nor the animals nor the green coolness nor the scorching sun: to me it was as if it were one. And not only didn’t I distinguish between the phenomena around me, I didn’t experience a separation between those phenomena and me either. All was one and eternal.
But one day I was riding on my tricycle in my father’s garden: back and forth. Just a few inches, back and forth, back and forth, over and over and over again.
The day before it had rained a lot and with my head bent downwards I watched the wheels dig deep into the mud. Back and forth, back and forth, still deeper into the morass.
I must have been four or five years old. Oh, I awoke in anger, so alone and terrified. I wasn’t part of the wholeness anymore.
It was an early winter morning, two years ago. I drove my wife to work. Wet snow was drizzling down. Suddenly she says:
“I know what you should do. You get off that bike, leave it stuck in the mud and start looking for a new horizon. Remember as a child, in church, what you wanted to be? Well, become that bird in the child’s hand and fly away!”
Today the story has come full circle. I was back in the village of the cinema.
The cinema has been closed for years. As I passed by I saw a child’s tricycle lying in the middle of the road. Without thinking I picked up the tricycle and put it at the front door of the former cinema.
It wasn’t until I walked away, that I realized how wonderful and mysterious this moment was. Thank God, because otherwise I might have taken a picture and spoiled the mystery.
I remember what my wife had also said during the car trip two years ago: ”You may believe that you are kicked out of paradise. Or you may believe you walked out voluntarily to experience life in a world with myriads of choices. In either case you may stay out of paradise or you may return at any time you choose to do so.”
For a brief moment I felt like flying, far away from the mud.
For a brief moment…