I’ve been somewhat derelict in keeping up with a weekly post derived from Father Santos’ lessons. Here’s why. Even though I wrote the book and I’ve thought about what’s in it for several years now, when it comes to writing more about each lesson, it can be a struggle. Some of these just don’t roll out. I’ve pondered this one for a bit and came up with the approach yesterday and today while on my morning walks.
“Señor Rockwell. Isabella found you. Bueño,” he said, when he finally rose and turned to leave the church. Father Santos pointed his elbow out to me. “My legs are tired today. Help an old man.” I reached out to hold the twigs wrapped in the fabric of his shirt and steadied him while we walked down the hill to the village.
“I need to pay a visit to Señora Contreras. If you will come with me, when we are done, I would ask you to tell me what you see. But, until then, please no talk.”
“Father Santos. I don’t understand,” I began.
Before I could continue, he interrupted me. “Señor, if you listen to me and show some patience, you will. You do not need to understand before. No?”
“I guess,” I mumbled, resigning myself to another of Father Santos’ mysterious messages.
“As you did at lunch when you opened your heart to speak, now open your heart to see.”
We began to walk slowly through the village. Father Santos shuffled along on my right, his feet scraping the surface of the road and pushing up small clouds of dust with each step. As we progressed down the road, he began to lean into me more and more. Once or twice, I tried to speak, but each time, he quieted me, “Ssssh. See. No speak. You really must begin to learn how to experience the world. Are all Americans so impatient?” I shrugged my shoulders in reply, afraid to break his order of silence.
A Letter to Me:
When you were a kid, you always wished to be older. To be able to get to the point where you would be old enough to do this or to do that. There was always a prize on the horizon you wished to reach sooner rather than later. Your father, wise as he was, told you to stop wishing your life away. Why haven’t you learned that lesson?
You continue to wish your life away. Always rushing and scurrying to get today’s things done because of the list that awaits you tomorrow, next week, and next month. As well, you are so eager to get to that next stage of your life that you have lost any ability to enjoy the moment. Today. Now. You still are wishing to reach the prize on the horizon rather than enjoying the bounty that is today.
It’s time, King Midget, to follow your own father’s wisdom and stop wishing your life away. It is time to think about Father Santos’ words. Open your ears to hear the life of the world around you. Open your eyes to see the beauty of the smallest things. Open your heart to be. Experience the moment instead of planning for the next. Realize that what matters is now and not planning for tomorrow.
When you got your first IPod, what did you do with it? You put your ear buds in your ears everywhere you went and cut yourself off from the world. You’ve stopped doing that. That’s a start, but it’s not enough. Wallow in your world. Find the little things that cost you nothing but that fill life with goodness.
Like this. When you went on your walk this morning and you walked by that house where the dog lay on a blanket in the sun. As you walked by, the dog did that dog stretch where it’s front paws are stretched out as it lies straight out on its back and then curls its back, paws still sticking up in the air as it rubs its neck and back on the ground before rolling over and jumping up. You know that dog was thinking “hope nobody saw that.” But you did and it’s one of those little things.
Like the flock of birds chased by a retriever into the air where they did that bird thing, flapping around in a synchronized circle over and over again before settling down again only 20-30 feet away.
It’s those little things, King Midget, that you have to open yourself up to and you’ll never do it if you keep thinking of the more and the next and the wishes and dreams. Open your heart to the now of today and learn to love it.