writing about the treasures in my life. I invite you to join me in writing a blog about someone, someplace, something that you consider a treasure. If you do, would you let me know by way of a comment. I'll be sure to visit you and read your thoughts. Thanks so much.
I confess - I'm jealous. My friend, Mary, has remained faithful to her religion throughout her entire life. Unlike her, I'm open to a varied and diverse repertoire of practices and some vaguely paradoxical beliefs. If one were to look at my spiritual canvas, it would best be described as inclusively eclectic.
Mary is different. She makes no effort to hide her attachment to what I consider an archaic institution. But my envy does not stem from Mary's perplexing loyalty. It's her mystifying dispensation of spontaneous, selfless, non-religiously motivated service that irks me. Her giving comes straight from her heart, it requires no dogma to direct its course.
There is nothing unusual about finding Mary cooking to take some food over to a sick neighbor. If you're moving - Mary will help. Do you suddenly need a baby sitter? Mary is the one to call. I always love her visits. Like a child I eagerly wait for her to unwrap whatever "goody" she's brought me. The value and nature of her gifts are irrelevant because with Mary it is not the thought that counts, it is her love that transforms an object into joy.
Sometimes I can't help but wonder what God was thinking. How come Mary can cook, sew, decorate and paint as if she had received the highest levels of education and training? Anything she cooks is a delicacy, she sews clothes and makes the most gorgeous purses, colors dance in her head and produce ingenious ideas for decorations and her paintings defy the reality that she never had any formal instruction. They are beautiful.
Not long ago, she showed me a painting she had just completed depicting two boys, about nine years old, nervously crouching as one lit the other's cigarette. Tenderly it portrayed a youth of blended mischief and purity we all once lived, and may have forgotten. In a gallery, the painting could be worth thousands. Mary gave the painting away to a mutual friend, who is very sick. Lest I feel slighted, she brought me a couple of beautiful purses she had sewn.
Luckily for me, Mary is not perfect, or I'd have to disown her because the radiance of her generosity and kindness would be too much to withstand. She has a major flaw, and that is that she doesn't know how to receive a compliment. She seems oblivious to my flattery and acts as if what she does is simply "normal", which doesn't do much to help my feelings of inadequacy.
I'm unable to persistently tread on the path I've chosen. It often eludes me in spite of my hungry explorations into books, meditation, prayer, chanting and other spiritual pursuits and practices. Mary, on the other hand, is content reading romance novels and leaving the spiritual stuff to others. She never talks about her spirit, though she's obviously overflowing with it.
Mary is innocent. She is totally unaware of the many shades of green, which she elicits. This morning during meditation my mind wandered and wondered if Mary has ever even heard of enlightenment.
No matter, to me she is a treasure. She enlightens my spirit.