[Editor Note: we’re exploring a completely different format for this 20-month-long blog!]
After I was born Mom gave birth to 3 more babies who all died shortly after birth. Mom has said that the sorrow that she experienced was so profound that she could think of nothing but to mourn them, and yet the mourning was so debilitating and paralyzing that she felt as if she was stuck in a maze whose way out was hidden from her.
After the last one died she visited the baby’s grave every day, weeping over that small mound of freshly turned earth. Finally, one day as she was leaving the cemetery, the groundskeeper approached to speak with her. He said, “I see you coming back here every day to mourn over your baby. You are clearly so miserable that you’re barely living. Go back to that grave right now, say goodbye to that baby, leave here, and never come back. You have a life to live.” In relating that event to me Mom commented, “It was as if a light-bulb went off in my head, and I knew, instantly, that he was right: That was the way out of my maze of sorrow. Say goodbye, and let go of the sadness.”
A groundskeeper with the wisdom of a sage. Why do we presume that an ordinary occupation prevents someone from being profoundly wise? Why can’t your waitress give you some advice with your coffee which could save your soul? Why can’t your plumber’s astute observation enable you to see your life differently as he unclogs the drain? Why can’t a groundskeeper get right to the middle of your emotional knot?
The fact is, they can. The problem is not others, but us. We presume that only someone licensed in the field of psychology or therapy can guide us through the confusion of our inner life. The fact is that the Divine is whispering wisdom every day, everywhere, in every occupation; all we have to do is to listen in order to hear, seek in order to find, let go of the past in order to go forward.
Mom has said how astonishing it was to realize, upon hearing the words, how right and how simple the solution to her sorrow was when she heard someone else voice it. What is the Divine trying to tell you for which you are not listening?