March 2017 – Two 11-year-old boys met by the poolside in a Dominican Republic resort. The following three days were spent in one another’s company – breakfast, lunch, dinner, table tennis, beach volleyball and more. The parents met briefly to say hello to one another and the conversation was courteous and minimal. The families came from different continents – Europe and North America, spoke different languages, had different food habits and yet the boys got along like a house on fire. One family left on the fourth day. A tearful farewell was an understatement. The boys exchanged phone numbers.
Upon coming home, the North American family decided to be courteous and send a text thanking the other family for the wonderful time the boys had together and also inviting them to come visit, should they ever felt like seeing North America. The response to that text, from the father of the European boy read, “Sure, our son will visit you in the summer”. What followed was a series of family room discussions about the possibility of the visit. There were a lot of apprehensions about how the child would adjust to food habits because the North American family is predominantly vegetarian. The father of the European boy was reasonably sure that his son was easy going with food and would adjust well. The boys spoke to one another a few times a week in preparation for the trip, also exchanging their interests and likes and dislikes.
July 2017 : Summer arrived and so did the boy from Europe (alone, may I add!). It was a jam-packed three weeks of camping and sightseeing and eating out and fun. It was about meeting more North American families and sharing stories and also having a lot of them asking, “Wait, what? He came alone? You just met in Dominican Republic for four days? Do you know the family?”
This is no fable. This is real life. This is the story of our family and a European family, one of immense trust and friendship. I don’t know what came upon the European family to trust us in the little time that the boys spent with one another in Dominican Republic. They took a leap of faith and sent their son to us for three weeks. To me, this is what real world should be. This is what we as human beings need to believe in more. The family didn’t see us differently. They knew their son would be safe and loved and cared for. In a world of mistrust and chaos and hatred, this friendship comes as a breath of fresh air. It comes as hope and it reaffirms my faith in mankind. . The experience humbled us as a family. It was one of the best summers we have had. We look forward to a life-long friendship.
“Never say never”, is a phrase that has a much deeper meaning in my life than ever before. A few years ago I met my spouse, fell in love, got married, had children and swore, “Never again will I seek anything in my life ever”. Boy, was I wrong! Through the years, life rolled on with ups and downs and I began to feel a void. I began to search. Search for answers and often, the intensity of such a search will yield some pretty quick results. And it happened to me.
We met two years ago. It was brief. It happened in a hotel. We were together for four days. It was my first experience with that kind of joy. And life changed. Dramatically changed. I knew in my heart there was a shift. And then I came back to my real life – work, home, children, challenges etc. But those four days were memorable. I yearned for more. A few months later it happened again and then a year later again. The sporadic meetings intensified in between. Daytime was spent dreaming of midnight rendezvous. Typically it was around the 2 – 3 am that we would connect. There was a lot of deep breathing that would happen. The house was silent. Everyone was in a slumber. And no one suspected anything. The meetings over a period in time became regular and now are a daily occurrence and much of the family, friends and colleagues are seeing that shift – loads of laughter and giggles, conscious efforts at spending time with family, a glow on the face, a sudden appreciation for littlest things and a very different outlook to life. Very YOLO attitude. A spousal confrontation is right around the corner. My love for sleep has diminished dramatically. On the contrary, an inner alarm wakes me up around 2-3 am.
From whatever is happening on a daily basis, I know this is going to intensify. I am consumed by it already. And I have friends who have begun asking me questions specific to the issue. The ones that know me well get a decent daily download of my post midnight experience and the others on the periphery are watching to see where this will lead. History has it that anyone who has gone down this path has never really returned to their original life. And yes, he has a name. A powerful one. I know that he is the only one that can make my dreams come true and they have been coming true too. His name is “pineal gland”. :). I meet him in my everyday meditations during the beautiful wee hours of the morning. Life is bliss.
My first experience with the pineal gland happened when I went for a meditation conference two years ago. Although I loved it, I wasn’t regular at it. But the subsequent two conferences put me in a very different frame of mind and now my post midnight rendezvous with the pineal gland is the highlight of any given night. 🙂
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