Happy Rails – Part 5:
“When the mind wants to break its link with the world
it still holds on to one thing….”
On the short train ride from Philly to Baltimore, I begin to have doubts about staying at my Brother Chuck’s house in Cockeysville. I know that he and his wife are under a lot of strain over preparing to sell their house of 18 years.
They designed and built it themselves after their two children were already grown and on their own. It is huge – something like 7,000 square feet. A monument to their vision of the future, surrounded by their children and their children’s families. Instead it has become a warehouse full of their stuff and their children’s stuff.
They want to downsize now. Their idea of downsizing is to build two smaller houses – one in Ocean City, Maryland, and one in Port Charlotte near Englewood Beach, Florida. Both have three bedrooms and three bathrooms. Oh, and three-car garages. Why, I ask? Because she wants three, he shrugs.
He tells me on the drive from the train station that his wife is away for the weekend. I try to hide my sigh of relief. It will just be the two of us.
Choose any bedroom and bathroom, he tells me – except the two on the ground floor where his grandsons are each staying over with their girlfriends. He thinks. They might have left. I never see any of them.
Below: My bedroom is to the left. The decorations on the railing are from his daughter’s wedding 5 years ago. Did I mention I am waiting for a knee replacement and need to wear a brace?
“I am on my way up some stairs – they are high.
Yet I have to give up my fears if I want to take part in this love.”
Chuck can’t stop talking. He needs to tell me everything he has discovered about life since the last time I saw him – three years ago? His insights, the wisdom he shares with co-workers, the advice he has given to waitresses, store clerks, parking lot attendants, his trainer. I’m starting to re-think that sigh of relief earlier. His wife does keep him busy.
He asks me to watch a movie with him. Sure. He chooses “Identity Thief” with Mellissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman. From the moment it starts, he keeps pausing it to share another insight. Nothing related to the film, just random. Don’t get me wrong, I recognize how brilliant he is, that our minds work so much alike. My own thoughts exhaust me. His thoughts exhaust me more.
“Kabir says: You brother, you seeker, this whole thing is a great mystery.”
So I guess I traveled across country by train because Baba wanted me to see how my life might have been had I made the kinds of choices he made.
By the way, here is a picture I forgot to include in Part 4: The Norfolk Pine next to where I slept. Imagine waking up at 4 am, trying to reassemble your sense of yourself, where you are or think you should be, and seeing this shadowy figure lurking nearby.
Baba insists on keeping me off-balance. I’m sure He has His reasons.
“A certain bird sits in this tree. The delight of life is where it dances….
Tell all the wise men it would be a good thing to know where this bird spends the night.”
Jai Baba to All!