It’s strange how other people affect us sometimes. We meet so many people in a lifetime and yet we stay in touch with only a few of them. Among the latter are our relatives who we do not choose but who we kind of feel obliged to relate to and keep in touch with. And then there are those who we choose to associate with and who we call our friends. Even among friends there are those that we are close with and that enrich our life so much so that they play a big part in it. And then there is the rest of the world, the crowd.
The other day I was waiting for my turn in a clinic, sitting in the waiting room reading when the lady next to me asked me what time it was. And then one question led to another and before I knew it we were deep in conversation. There was such a positive aura about her, such a joyous vibe emanating from her that talking to her made me happy. And as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote:
“In every crowd are certain persons who seem just like the rest, yet they bear amazing messages.”
Now I don’t know if I have ever mentioned this before, but in August 2012, I lost a dear friend here in Montreal to heart attack. Among my friends and acquaintances here she was the only one with whom I could talk about anything and everything. We came from the same background, we had more or less same interests. Even if we were both busy with our separate lives and didn’t meet in person very often that didn’t prevent us from being close friends. I was very sad and depressed for a long time after her death. It sure felt lonely afterwards. In the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:
“Where are the people?” resumed the little prince at last. “It’s a little lonely in the desert…” “It is lonely when you’re among people, too,” said the snake.”
Within one year I lost my dear father, my close friend but the loss of my dear husband three months later topped it all.
“When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways–either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength.” Dalai Lama XIV
I don’t know if I have found my inner strength yet. Because as hard as I try, on some days it’s just not there and all I want to do is stay in bed and escape the real world by losing myself in fantasy, reading, and not even talk with anyone. And yet on other days when I wake up early and watch the sunrise from my window I get this feeling in my heart that everything around me is so beautiful.
“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
And as I exchanged numbers with that young mother of two in the clinic the other day somehow I knew this would not be the last time I would see her.
“Goodbye, said the fox. And now here is my secret, a very simple secret. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry