Dr. Stewart Bitkoff
It was a clear, fall morning and Amoun wanted to go for a walk. Entering Washington Square Park Amoun pointed to a bench, in the sunlight, overlooking the large cement circle and meeting space in the Park’s center. The Park was alive with activity: children playing with a colorful beach ball; young parents pushing babes in strollers; vendors selling hot dogs, pretzels, and peanuts; and street people waking from their night in and around the bathroom lawn.
As we came to rest beside an empty bench Amoun looked-up at the sun and took a long, deep breath. Slowly he smiled and said, “God is Kind.” Together we both sat quietly and observed the variety of activity about us. People were going and doing, exploring all of the fun things to do in the Park.
By this time the street people were up and about. Some had started to pan handle from willing strangers and others purchased drugs from pushers. Then an old man caught my attention. He was struggling, walking slowly with the aid of a walker; a middle age, female attendant assisted with words of encouragement. I enjoyed the variety of late morning activity and wondered to myself, what is the point of all this going and doing? To what purpose is all this activity?
Amoun looked at me and replied, “All of this splendor sings the praise of the Light. Each going and doing; enjoying, suffering, laughing, struggling and moving forward in their own way. While some are lost in the shadows for a time; on another day, in a different place, they may embrace the Light. That is the point of the journey. That is the point of the friction between darkness and Light. This friction, or struggle, exists to push us forward.
Like this Park- the world is a giant bazaar. You will find in it exactly what you are looking for. Some seek enjoyment of the senses. Others seek responsibility and family. Does this make one right and the other wrong? No it is not like that. While many activities and choices are harmful and must be avoided, their real impact is that they distance the traveler from the Light. The flesh is weak and must fade, however, the spirit lives on. Remember the real or lasting meaning of an endeavor is if it brings you closer to or distances you from the Light. This measuring stick, or internal indicator, awakens as the traveler progresses.
How can we evaluate the importance of a life? How do we know the outcome of years spent in the darkness? If the traveler can only awaken after years of being in the darkness, is he not like you and I? Was it not dark last night and this morning the sun caresses our skin? Does not the Light follow the darkness?”
By this time I no longer listened to Amoun’s words, I had become absorbed by the peaceful, loving energy that emanated from him and carried the words. Somehow by being in Amoun’s presence I was transported to that peaceful, loving place that I now recognized as the goal of the journey. As Amoun reflected the Light, I perceived my own connection to the Light and recognized the Light in everything about me. This energy was the very fabric of life and we were created to know and serve the Light.
This piece “A Walk in the Park” first appears in Stewart Bitkoff, Journey of Light: Trilogy, Authorhouse, 2004.
See my new book, Songs Against The Darkness. To purchase your copy go to Amazon, Paperback $14.99, Kindle $5.95):
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