In the early ’80s I decided to take a train and see some of the country in America. West-Northwest is so beautiful on paper and I wanted to it live. It was quite an adventure. My very first train ride. I was nervous but excited. Traveling alone was scary but I had to face my fears just as those women on their pilgrims out west. Like a child I sat waiting and fidgeting to get on board the train. What made that trip so memorable is a yellow piece of paper I found on the bench while waiting. It was a torn page of a pamphlet or magazine that someone left behind. I picked it up and read:


Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

I took the piece of paper with me and read it over and over again on that journey and throughout my life. I believe that nothing is by chance. I was meant to read those words of wisdom. I shared it with my oldest when she got married. Those words are from the book “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran. Gibran died in New York in 1931, at age 41. Gibran Khalil Gibran was born on January 6th, 1883 in the Turkish province of Northern Lebanon. In 1895 his family moved to the USA and settled in Boston leaving his father behind in Lebanon.

John Eldrege says that “our heart is sunshine and our soul is stained glass window”. We can’t see anything without the light shining through. That’s what maturity does to the soul, it allows the heart to see life in colors.

‘Tis true that the “language of the heart is understood in the heart” borrowing Barbara Streisand’s words. As it has been said that when we’re ready, the teacher will come. It is in that process of maturity that we get to see the trees greener and exuberant. Full moon becomes more than just seasonal time clock in the sky; and red roses not just exquisite art with its built in fragrance. Everything becomes more than what meets the eye reminding us that we are part of something bigger.

Whatever I need to change in my life is available. I just have to pay attention and not dismiss the messenger. It could be a child, someone we dislike, or piece of paper. It is in our brokenness that we can be taught. It is with empty hands that we can receive. [/restrict]