Editor's note: I had a mishap with my blog and lost some recent posts. Oh dear, and I was so proud of them too.
I didn’t mean to break my mother’s heart when I left England as a young man to go to Canada. But I know now that I did break my mother’s heart.
I also deeply regret, with hindsight, that I was not physically present to comfort or assist my mother in her later years as she battled with a chronic illness.
I was so involved with my new life in British Columbia, you see. I was so passionate in my quest to discover deeper meaning and purpose in life -- the truth of my existence -- that I scarcely had room for anything else.
I remember how earnestly I spoke to my mother about my dreams and my goals before saying goodbye to my parents at Victoria station in London and boarding the train that would take me to the ship that would take me to Canada.
I tried hard to assure her that I would be fine and she was not to worry and everything would work out as it should. But really, what did I know of the sadness and emptiness that was in her heart as she saw her only child slip away in search of a different world and a different life?
My mother was sensitive, with a bit of poetry in her heart. Perhaps she sensed with a mother’s intuition that the schism that already existed between myself and my parents -- born of my longing for “the path less trod” -- would only widen as time went by.
In any case, that is what happened. I found a spiritual mentor in British Columbia who by virtue of his living, and his presence, filled the longing that was in me and brought a sense of meaning and purpose into my life.
There was a price to be paid, however, for my choice to follow my mentor and live for 36 years in the spiritual community he had created.
It is a wonderful thing to become more conscious of our true meaning and potential. But it’s not so wonderful if in the process we begin to think of ourselves as being somehow a bit different from other people, or a bit better than other people – especially our parents.
To whatever extent, I fell into this trap. A gulf continued to widen between myself and my parents that I regret thoroughly and completely.
But while I feel the sadness of that past alienation, I feel something else too. I feel the indestructible nature of truth and the limitless power of life to forgive and to heal.
I am simply relating my own experience here, and we each must honor our own perceptions about life and death. But I feel the support and encouragement of my parents with me in these latter years of my life more strongly than ever.
I feel their presence and love reaching across time, indeed untouched by time. And I feel the separation that did exist between us is healed. Incidentally my mother’s name was Kate. She was a school-teacher before she married, with a special love for English. She was one of five sisters born in a beautiful part of England known as Devon.
I have read some of the letters that my Mum and Dad shared before they married. How much they loved each other. What joy they knew, and what strength they showed as they lived their lives.
I would love to hear from you. If you have any thoughts or experiences you would like to share, please write.
Picture credit: All rights reserved by Zdenko Zivkovic