“Do you remember that scene in the kitchen at your home when you were seven years old?”
“Funny you should mention that my friend. It came in a dream a few days ago. I had forgotten it until then. Now I remember it as though it were yesterday; fifty years ago yesterday.”
“Don’t keep me waiting my young friend.”
The younger man laughed and looked back into his past to the scene featuring his mother and younger sisters. Just tall enough to lean on the ‘twin-tub’ washing machine. He stared out of the window at the blue sky and sunshine reflecting from the windows of the houses on the new estate. Mother was laying down rules, rules that would become integral to his being.
“I can’t remember those rules, but I know they are in here somewhere.” He tapped his chest. “The problem is, the world has changed and most of those rules have become obsolete. They became so many years ago and I know I deleted a few because doing so brought about conflict and ill-feeling. Mother, I’m afraid, took things personally, she didn’t see the big picture that became my life and the path I had to follow.”
“Oh, my belief going to confession was an unnecessary ritual. I used to invent sins I’d committed, so I had something to offer the priest. Also, I objected going to High Mass on a Sunday. Delivered in Latin, I didn’t understand a word.”
“So, you didn’t like the church?”
“It wasn’t as simple as that. The priests and nuns frightened me; they wielded terrible power to strike me down to the depths of hell for my blasphemous thoughts. Thoughts that left an indelible stain on my soul.”
“Do you still feel that way?”
The young man laughed again, with much humour.
“No, no, far from it. I see every place of worship as a sanctuary where we can reach out to our higher selves. I know my childhood thoughts have left no permanent marks on my soul. I am as I am.”
“What are these other rules you mentioned?”
“There lies a problem. I remember adult discussions about work that no longer hold true. Debate about how life should run. You know? Get a good education, work for a local employer, get married, have children, work more, retire, die.
People still live this way because they don’t want to question the status quo. It’s not how we’re supposed to live. There is no individual blueprint globally available.”
“That’s a bold statement.”
“Perhaps, but only for those who follow the path of another rather than the path of their soul.”
“Please continue my young friend.”
“Sorry, I’m looking forward to getting back to my work. Later perhaps.
The young man walked through the light, whistling a joyful tune, sending waves of love and gratitude in his wake.