(“London snow at night” by Rupert Davis )
Yesterday morning I received an email from my sweetheart about an experience he’d had the day before yesterday. I thought I’d make it into a story (with his permission.)
A wise man was walking home , coming out of a forest, when he saw a large group of men in the far distance. After a few moments a couple of them broke away from the group and started walking in a strange manner towards him and his dog-companion. When they started to close in the wise man felt that something was wrong. There was a very tense and aggressive energy in the air that his heart alarmed him about. He then realized that some sort of gang fight was in progress.
The four men seem to have broken off from the big group in order to settle the matter in a more private setting and when we are almost at them, they stop and two of them start to “circle.” One of them is not really in a mood to fight, the other really in a mood to fight. The one, who is the more aggressive, pulls out a big kitchen knife that is rapped in a cloth and starts to wave it around and circle towards the other. Meanwhile the two other men with them, try to calm them down and somehow ease the tension, or at least to make the man remove the knife.
I look at them, at the man with the knife, his face, his eyes. And I look at the guy he is after , a man I know from the neighborhood, his face, his eyes. I feel that this is not my place to get involved so I do not intervene as I do not know the reason for this fight. Also there are already two trying to do that, so I continue past them. I am walking just one or two meters away from them in the direction of the larger group. Here I see one younger man I recognize from my neighborhood, a man I always say hello to and talk to a little when we meet. I greet him with a smile and say, with the most calm and loving voice, “trouble tonight I see?” He looks at me and gives the slightest hint of a smile, and says: “yeah…”.
I pass the gang and walk home, boil some tea and sit down to contemplate this experience.
I realize the incident showed me something profound.
During the whole period, when walking along that road filled with hate, anger and violence, so close that I could almost see the brand of the big kitchen knife in the dark winter night, I not once had a feeling of fear in my heart, nor anger. I walked with light and peace, even during this chaos, not even blinking. Looking into the faces of these young men, I saw confusion, pain and suffering. Darkness expressing itself in this world, showing its pale and lifeless heart in the shadows of men. I could not feel anything but great compassion and love looking at them, because I was looking at my self. I whispered; “Lay down your anger, lay down your weapon, for it is yourself you are fighting, it is yourself that you are destroying.”
To walk in love is to walk an inner path where there is no fear, no death, no darkness.
The wise man looked up at the sky outside the window. Snow was slowly falling down, almost gliding upon the soft night air. The trees, stood majestically and beautiful by the light of the stars. He could still feel the cold air coming into his lungs and leaving them again in a flowing fine mist. Standing in the beauty of life, he was grateful for the breath that inspired him, for each moment that came and went and for love.
Love, he whispered to the stars and thought for a moment of his wife, you walk with me always.