Staring into the Abyss

His cascade of tears mixed with the droplets of rain that had weaved there way through the branches of the large oak tree that provided rudimentary shelter from the rain that had burst suddenly across the once fine day. The young man’s chest heaved in reflection to the great cleft of emotional anguish he felt welled within his breast. The sleeve of his cloak offered only scant relief as he wiped the mist from his eyes and tried to focus on the positive, but it was like reaching into a deep, dark abyss in search of a lost penny.

The rainstorm had cause to propel passers-by in haste to find shelter from the persistent droplets. In some way, the young man was grateful for the rain’s presence. That way he was able to endure his suffering without a need to provide camouflage to the outside world. So, he resigned to just sit with his arms secured around his knees and his face turned toward the mix of grass and acorns surrounding the base of the tree. That was until he was rudely interrupted.

Oh, oh, sorry, I did not mean to intrude,’ offered the monk as he shook the droplets from his saffron robes. ‘I merely sought some shelter from the rain.’

The young man looked up at the monk, startled that he should appear like an apparition without so much as a sound to forewarn his presence. He noticed the rain running rivulets down the monk’s shaved-pate - but it did not seem to concern the devotee. He just stood, serenely, looking down at the young man, although there was a depth, even a wealth of compassion to the smile that lay just behind his eyes.

Do you mind if I sit a while?’ enquired the monk. ‘I would like to continue my journey only when the rain has abated.’

The young man looked at the monk and shrugged his shoulders to imply grudging consent to his request. The monk sat down an easy pace from the young man and a silence descended between the two for a time that seemed like it had lost its meaning. It was then the monk rearranged his seat and postured his legs to the lotus position.

Do you mind if I meditate whilst I am here,’ he enquired, ‘it would appear that the rain is to be with us yet a while.’

The young man gave another shrug of his shoulders and mumbled something about it being a free country. The monk gave a smile of gratitude and started at once to breathe deeply of the rich essence of life. Time seemed to take a path of its own, as the monk descended into the depths of his muse. In fact, the young man observed, it was hard to tell if he was still alive. His body neither twitched nor itched. Even his chest showed scant movement in respiration. Then, all of a sudden, there was a large clap of thunder. So much so that the young man gave a jolt of awe-inspired fear, yet the monk did not move. He still continued to meditate.

It was at that same moment something seemed to change, the young man felt lighter. It was as if a heavy rock had been lifted from his heart. Where was once before a deep well of sorrow was now, somehow, replaced by the dawn of lightness. It was as if a huge burden had been shifted – like a huge stone moving aside from a sepulcher. He shook his head in a disbelief to shake the feeling that logic could not fathom. Yet, it was so - he felt much better, even euphoric.

It was then the monk opened his eyes and moved to stretch his legs and arms to awaken them from their sedentary repose. The young man turned and looked at the monk with his new outlook on life.

What just happened? I feel much better,’ he enquired of the monk.

The monk gave a gentle smile and cast a wide glance around to notice that the rain was now abating.

Your tears were for a love you had thought you had lost, where they not?’ inquired the monk.

Ah, yes, I guess so,’ mumbled the young man in reply. ‘It is true - the woman I have loved for so many years told me she does not love me anymore. truth be told, I was feeling terrible and suffering deeply,’ he mused. ‘But, but how is it that I now feel much relieved? I was before feeling the sharp pang of loss, but now my life seems much, ahh, lighter,’ as he struggled to express the words that described his new outlook.

Young man,’ replied the monk, ‘when I was meditating I simply asked the Divine for a blessing.’

Oh, and what type of blessing was that?’ enquired the man with his brow creased in curiosity.

Well, the blessing went something like this,

May the blessings of love shine upon this child of God,

Let the love that he IS shine for all to see.

Allow the beauty of love’s embrace to carry him along, always.

Love IS no matter what - it can’t disappear,

Take from him the dark clouds that cover his light.

Let his love shine forth again and again.

Let it be so!

At this, the young man radiated a smile as the monk offered a hand to help him stand. They both turned to see the sun reappear from behind the clouds. The rain had finally stopped. They turned to smile at one another with the depth of the communion evident between the two. Both men placed their hands in the position of Namaste and gave a bow each to the other, then walked out from under the cover of the great oak tree. They walked along the pathway, both chatting idly about the vagaries of the weather.