16437prairie winter, and how I came to the path
- Jan 21, 2006As I was looking at my winter photos again, it really got me
thinking about my life, how I ended up in this strange flat place ,
and how much I have come to love and cherish it.
I was not born on the prairies. I grew up in Kitchener (originally
called Little Berlin), a fairly large city close to Toronto which
was the hub of industry.Our house was situated somewhere between a
brewery and a rubber tire factory. The stench in the summer was
something to behold.
We used to make fun of the "flatlanders". In fact when I was about
15, my brother's friend moved to Winnipeg, and I remember saying
something like "Why in heaven would anyone choose to move to such a
God forsaken place with mosquitoes in the summer, and winter so cold
that you can't leave your house for 6 months of the year!"
I have certainly had to eat my words on more than one occasion,
along with a few mosquitoes I'm sure.
I may have mentioned this before, so forgive me if I'm repeating
myself, but I started my journey to Winnipeg with a teaching job in
a town called Flin Flon, 9 hours north of Winnipeg.
I spent 5 happy years there, but in my last year I began to grow
restless. I had been spiritually seeking for quite some time, but
now I felt that things were coming to a head, and I felt that a huge
change was imminent, but I did not know what.
I was content, but I began to realize that I was not really happy. I
had a great job, great friends,and time and money to travel, but I
could not get rid of this feeling that there had to be something
more;some piece of the puzzle that I was missing.
It often left me feeling empty and confused.
My one solace was taking trips to Saskatoon, the nearest city, to
scour the bookstores for anything spiritual. I was starving, and
those trips managed to stave off my hunger for awhile.
I remember my last trip to Saskatoon very well. It was about 3 weeks
before I moved to Winnipeg. Just prior to my making that trip, I had
an inner crisis, and I remeber lying on my living room floor,
crying, begging the Supreme to show me the way. I felt scared and
alone, but I had a deep inner knowing that the answer was out
there,so close I could almost touch it. I just had to find it.
While in Saskatoon on that last trip, I went into a bookstore,
desperately looking for anything that would heal my inner pain.
After much searching I found a book that appealed to me. I chose it
because it had nice title, and I liked the picture of the author.It
sounds like a crazy way to choose a book, but it called to me.
It was Garden of the Soul by Sri Chinmoy. I remember looking for
more books by him in the store, but there were none.Of course at
that time, I had never heard of Sri Chinmoy or what he was about,
and I also had no idea how soon I would find out just exactly who he
I had been living in Winnipeg for about 2 weeks when I saw a poster
for a free meditation course. One of my goals when I moved to
Winnipeg was to learn to meditate, and this course was within my
budget, so I went. I realized quickly at the course that the book I
had bought 5 weeks earlier was by the same man that the person who
was teaching the class had been telling us about. I knew that this
was no coincidence, and the rest, as they say is history.
8 years later, I am now giving classes in the very room that I found
A room in the middle of the prairies where I never dreamed I'd be.
I have come to love the prairies.
Their vastness feeds me.
They allow me to be empty;silent; still.
Nothing obstructs the free flow of light and space.
All anxieties get tossed into the prairie gales, on infinity's wing.
I am free to sit in the midst of the silence,and be.
All gratitude to Sri Chinmoy, for being the lighthouse that called
to me, and brought me safely home.
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