Chapter 12 - Anna’s Help in Clearing the Way - Jewish Outlook

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Chapter 12 – Anna’s Help in Clearing the Way

Chapter 12                  Anna’s Help in Clearing the Way

 

After that day, mother’s sadness lifted away.  She was filled with new energy.  She and Jesse worked together planting seeds and saplings to grow flowers and lots of vegetables in the garden.  She began to give a class in creative art and ceramics.  Many children came, encouraged by her loving and imaginative guidance, and after the class, they stayed around to play with Jesse.  Even Bob came and behaved his very best.  Jesse’s home now resounded with playful activity and laughter.

 

Jesse’s father, Mike, was pleased with this unexpected change, but also intrigued.  He sensed some secret was being kept from him.  And one night, he found out: he overheard a conversation between Mother and Jesse, as she was tucking him into bed.  It was about the Lady of Light.

Mike was shocked.  Later that night, he confronted Jesse’s mother.

“Esther, my dear, I cannot understand how you could believe the wild fantasies of Jesse’s mind.  Worst of all, you are encouraging this.  I thought I could trust you to be sensible.”

Esther sought to explain.  She told him about her grandmother Rachel, about how real her presence felt to her.  Mike listened in silence, and the more she spoke, the more annoyed and apprehensive he got.  Suddenly he turned around:

“Enough!  I don’t want to hear any more of that nonsense from you.  This is getting contagious.  I must put an end to it.  Esther, there is only one way: Jesse needs to see a psychiatrist.  If not, things will get out of control, I’m afraid.”

Esther protested and broke into tears.  Mike softened and agreed to leave Jesse alone under the strict promise that she and Jesse would never mention those things to anyone ever.  The situation now remained at an uncomfortable standstill.  But Jesse held his peace.  He knew that somehow things would work out.

One day, a letter arrived from abroad.

 

“Heavens!  It’s from my Aunt Anna!” exclaimed Esther, quickly reading on.

“She is coming to visit us.  Oh! I hope she will stay with us for a few weeks.”

When Anna finally arrived, she and Jesse took an instant liking to each other.  Jesse met her glance coming out from behind her spectacles: It was so keen.  Her endearing manner of speaking made him feel quite at ease.  Jesse watched her unpack an easel and artist’s materials.

“The country you live in is breathtakingly beautiful,” she said.  “Would it be alright if I stayed here with you for a while and painted these landscapes?

 

“We hoped you would ask.  Please stay as long as you wish,” both Mike and Esther responded warmly.

 

Suddenly Jesse remembered some of the words of the Lady of Light.  “Your dear Mother will be the first one to respond.  She was never abandoned.  I am sending a dear friend that will help clear the way for her as well as for your father.  I am also sending a book.”

Happy moments were now spent outside with Anna.  Jesse would sit by her side, watching her paint, sharing thoughts.  He asked questions and she always responded.  She seemed to know so much.  She talked about the many countries she had visited, and their people.

Jesse couldn’t talk about his great secret with her, since he had promised his father not to.  It was hard for him.

 

Mike respected Anna, perhaps also because she was a skilled artist whose paintings were exhibited in the best museums.  One day, he walked down the trail to watch her at work as she was putting fine touches on a large scene of the sunlit fields overshadowed by the mountains.  While she painted, they talked.

“I really enjoy the company of your Jesse.  He is such a fine young boy.” said Anna tenderly.

Mike didn’t comment.  She continued, “Truly a gifted child, this young Jesse of yours, such a bright and inquiring mind.”

Mike sat heavily on a large rock behind her and heaved a deep sigh.  Anna turned around, facing him.

“What is wrong?” she inquired softly.

“To tell you the truth Anna,” Mike blurted out, “I have been quite worried about this boy.  He constantly lives in a secret world of dreams, a fantasy world that he believes to be real.”

Anna chuckled and returned to her painting.

“Is that all?  I wouldn’t worry about that.”

“But you don’t understand,” Mike insisted with exasperation, “he talks about visiting heaven, meeting with the ‘Shining Ones’ as he calls them.  He talks about incredible voyages and worlds where everything is possible and…”

“Wait a minute,” interrupted Anna.  “Did you say – meeting with the ‘Shining Ones’?”

“Oh, yes!” replied Father, “Believe it or not, that’s what he has been talking about.  Worst of all, my very own wife is now supporting him with these illusions.  It all started two years ago when this boy thought he was talking to a certain ‘Lady of Light’ whom he now believes to be his great-grandmother.  Now you understand why I am worried?”

Anna held her paintbrush up in the air.

 

“Really,” she said thoughtfully.  “How interesting… knowing that boy… I wouldn’t be at all surprised if these dreams were more than just his imagination.  As a matter of fact, what you are telling me explains a lot to me: his peacefulness, his understanding, his love and care for all things… I would be very much interested in talking to him about these dreams.”

 

“What?” protested Mike with a shocked look, “Don’t tell me that you too, believe in all that stuff!  I thought you were an intelligent and reasonable woman.”

 

Anna burst out with a clear and happy laughter.

“Thank God I do believe in all that ‘stuff’ as you call it,” she said cheerfully.    “All my life my beliefs have helped to keep me strong and well and happy. Now please try to give this some thought: your little boy might actually be able to glimpse into more subtle realms of life.  These same realms have been perceived many times before, though they usually remain invisible.”

 

“Nonsense, he is just a child,” Mike protested, “how would he know such things?  Besides, I can tell you that science today has gone a long way, and no scientist ever reported any encounter with those ‘Shining Ones’ or any visits in heavenly gardens, or talking with a ‘Lady of Light’, and that’s a fact!”

 

“It’s a fact,” retorted Anna sternly, “that scientists don’t want to be ridiculed.  Do you think they want to take a chance with their reputation?  They find it a lot easier not to speak about things pertaining to the soul and spirit.”

She looked at Mike for a moment.

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“I understand your awkward position,” she said in a softened tone.  But you do not need to fear anything.  I am confident this boy of yours will grow up to be a fine, gifted and wonderful person.  Don’t you realize, he will always want to be your friend, if you just let him?

And as for the opinion of scientists, changes are rapidly taking place in most fields of research. Quantum physicists are standing in awe at the mind-boggling intelligence and wisdom of the mysterious Power that created the Universe, from the sub-atomic particles to the galaxies. They are now discovering the very same reality that great sages, prophets and mystics have expounded throughout the millennia!

 

Anna quietly went on: “Indeed there is a way we can discover more and more about true Reality: it comes through our inner knowing, our intuitive inspiration. It always comes with a feeling of well-being, of confidence, peace and certainty.  This feeling is the signature of true inspiration.  With this feeling, our thoughts and inner knowing feel right, direct, simple and true.  And they are.”

 

Mike was thoughtful.  Anna continued. “Have you noticed this certain peace and love glowing from your Jesse?  Tell me, has any of Jesse’s dreams done any harm?”

“Well…no,” Mike had to admit.  “Things have turned out really fine.  To tell you the truth, my wife has never felt so well.”

“There you are,” replied Anna.  “True inspiration only leads to what is good for everybody.  It is a source of strength and blessings for all.”

Anna’s voice was now warm and vibrant.

“What we need the most I believe is trust, openness and Love. Through this, we begin to experience a life that is good, full, abundant and free.  A life filled with joy, healing and peace.”

 

Just then, there was a joyful call from the top of the meadows.  It was from Jesse, who was running down the hill toward them.

Anna leaned towards Mike, face to face.  There was an intensity in her look that startled him.

“My friend, you do care for your boy, don’t you? Could you let him speak? Could you listen to him with an open heart?”

 

Jesse appeared and went straight to Anna’s painting.

“Wow,” he admired.  “Just like the real thing.  It’s beautiful!”

Anna returned to her painting.

“There is no greater beauty than what is real,” she replied.  “Do you know that all we need is choosing well how to look at it?  All we need is to see it?”

Mike watched them chat together in the free-flowing spontaneous manner of their keen friendship.  With her, Jesse was bubbling with new ideas, confident that Anna would understand.  Suddenly Mike was struck with a new painful awareness:

“Never have I shared moments like these with my Jesse,” he thought with dismay.  “Never have I given him a chance to speak to me like this.  I don’t even know who he is!  What’s wrong with me?  In fact, I don’t know anything at all!… And I have acted so harshly with the two people most precious to me.”

Mike was silent for quite a while.  Suddenly, he got up and walked away.  Two hours later he reappeared, stepped over to Jesse and put a gentle hand on his shoulder.

“Jesse, how about talking a little walk, just the two of us together, right now?” he asked.

“With me?” Jesse was hesitant.  He hadn’t taken a walk with his Dad ever since he could remember.  And he wasn’t eager for another lecture.  But his Dad was now friendly, almost pleading, and there was a new softness in his voice when he said,

“There is something important I need to tell you.”

He drew Jesse aside and gently invited him to sit down with him.

“Jesse, I have done some good thinking today.  I must tell you I am sorry I gave you such a rough time about whatever dreams you were having.  I have no right to do that.  You are entitled to your dreams.  And it’s okay with me if you believe in them.  Besides, I have discovered an important secret today. Would you like me to share it with you?”

Jesse looked up.  His daddy was grinning at him but his look was pleading.

 

“Can you keep this a secret?” he asked.  Jesse nodded.  Father whispered in his ear.  “I just found out that I hardly know anything about anything at all! I have got a lot to learn.”

Jesse smiled.  He wondered about the change that had come over his Dad who was no longer upset and worried, but seemed loving and joyful.

“Oh!  I also feel that way many times.  So now we can both feel the same way together, in secret, can’t we?  And it feels O.K., doesn’t it?”

Dad laughed a hearty laugh and gave Jesse a long hug.

 

“I feel as if a ton of bricks has just been lifted off my back,” he sighed, and he hugged Jesse again.  Then he straightened up.

“Well at least there is one thing I know right now,” he announced.

“What is it?” asked Jesse.

“My young Jesse knows more about the trails around here than I do. So Jesse, would you like to lead the way for me?”

 

Jesse was excited: “Oh! I know a beautiful path. It winds along the river bed, through the forest, all the way to the lake.  You will just love it!”

“That sounds great!” Dad replied.  “And what about showing me even more trails another day?”

In their eagerness to start on their way, they forgot to take leave of Anna, who seemed to be quite absorbed in her painting.  But her face was beaming.  She watched them leave hand in hand toward the trail and the last words she overheard from Jesse’s father were:      “It looks like we are going to have lots of good times together from now on, aren’t we, Jesse?”

Anna sighed tenderly, “Thank God!”


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Daily Torah Quote

Joke of the day

The Ropshitzer Rebbe was famous for his sense of humor.

Once one of his followers asked him, “What is the reason for your custom to dress in only white cotton clothes?”

The Ropshitzer Rebbe said, “I cannot reveal this to you now. You must first prepare yourself. Immerse yourself in the ritual bath eighteen times every day. After three weeks come to me and I will reveal the reason to you.”

The follower did exactly as the Rebbe ordered, and after three weeks time he proudly went to the Rebbe.

“I did all that you asked,” said the follower. “Please reveal to me the secret.”

The Rebbe said, “Because it is cheaper.”

The follower was confounded: “What? Because it’s cheaper? Why did I have to immerse eighteen times a day for three weeks? Why couldn’t you just tell me?”

The Rebbe answered, “If I would have just told you, then you would have just told someone else, and he would have told someone else, and so on…. And before you know it the price would go up.”