Mystery and the Light

Posted by A.C. Ping
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"Myth weaves the World into being."
Daniel Pinchbeck



The old lady stood staring at the photograph lost in thought. So many years ago she had stood at this same spot wondering where her life would lead. Now six decades later she had outlived two husbands, her children and step children had grown to middle age and so many young ones called her 'Nana' that at times she had trouble remembering their names.

But what should have been a time of peace and serenity had been tainted by loneliness and worry. At night she went to bed early but slept fitfully awoken by memories of the past. The images that haunted her dreams were filled with regret and taunted her with the question of 'Why?'

"It takes great courage to walk that path"

The woman was startled by the man's voice and it took her a moment to regain her senses and bring her mind back to the present. She looked back at the photograph and then glanced cautiously at the man who now stood next to her.

He didn't meet her gaze but remained staring at the photograph.

"Who would have thought at the beginning of the journey that we would pick up so much baggage along the way?" he asked rhetorically "and now here we are near the end of our lives with opportunities in front of us that we could never have dreamed of and yet we hesitate out of fear."

The old woman didn't know what to say. Who was this silver haired man and why was he speaking as if he had read her mind?

The man glanced now at the woman knowing he had piqued her interest. He smiled ever so slightly.

"The courage we had in our youth is not lost only forgotten. You see as we get older and learn more we think we know more but this is not true. As children we know the ultimate truth - that the World is a mystery. A mystery that we will never understand. And although we know we will never understand it we never stop trying to because we are driven by our innate curiosity for the very essence of life itself.

As we get older though a funny thing happens to us. We forget that the World is a mystery and instead we start to believe that we really can work it out. And there lies the paradox. Knowledge is not wisdom. The very thing that we seek traps us into a never ending spiral of thought. Our desire to release ourselves from the fear of the unknown compels us to think about the possibilities more and more. But we forget the most essential truth - the mystery of the World and the truth that we will never truly understand."

The man's words had touched the old woman's heart. A glimmer of light now shone into her soul.

"How do I remember?" she asked.

The old man chuckled quietly and turned back to look at the photograph.

"Just let go" he said "There is nothing to be done with the past except to make peace with it. You don't need to know 'why' things happened you just need to accept it and surrender. Only by letting go of the past and making yourself as light as possible will you find the courage that you fear you have lost. Underneath all of the baggage from the past lies your will. Peace lies in letting go of the need to know. Courage to move boldly forwards on your journey will come from letting go of the worry and having faith that no matter what happens it will be perfect."

As the man spoke the heavy weight that had plagued the woman began to lift and as it did so she realised that it had crept up on her over the years so slowly that she had not even realised that she was carrying it. Her rounded shoulders straightened ever so slightly, her chin lifted and her chest opened up to allow the breath to enter freely.

A smile crossed her lips as she thought of the journey ahead. Turning to thank the old man for his words of wisdom she saw that he was gone and slowly she laughed. A laugh so free that it made her feel light on her feet and suddenly she knew what it was to feel alive again.

In peace and love always.

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