If it weren't for my beautiful sad mother drinking a beaker of cold cyanide when I was three,
I wouldn't have learned she could both love and abandon me in one hot severe breath. Nor would I have grown flowers in my heart for people who urgently want to die.
If I had not broken my leg in a wild fall, I wouldn't have learned that stark physical pain is, to my great surprise, not permanent.
If I hadn't fallen in love with someone who didn't love me, I would never have realized that unrequited love is still an ecstatic dance of the heart.
If I hadn't encountered praise and blame, success and failure, heat and cold, darkness and light, blows and kisses, pain and bliss, never would I have found out that through it all there is a Spirit within me which remains unceasingly alive and loving.
If I hadn't received the gift of knowing you, I would not have come to realise that our stories are different in details, but never in essence.
If I hadn't lived through an era of hurting I would never have met the miracle of being fed with kindness by a friend.
If I hadn't discovered that you and I are two threads in the same vast cloth, I would have remained forever lost and imprisoned in my separate universe.
If I hadn't seen both good and evil occupying space in the same event, I would never have met the hand of humour painting over these polarities with new clarity and light.
If I hadn't wept a thousand tears over the loss of a beloved, I would never have been driven inward to find the eternal companion, my Soul.
If I had not witnessed cruelty and man's inhumanity to man, I would not have been forced to look beneath the ugliness of fear, and encounter the common Heart that lies beneath it.
If I hadn't encountered our myriad differences, I would never have discovered that you and I are not two, but infinite sparks of love ever arising from one indestructible Flame.
And if I hadn't felt abandoned and heartsick, I would never have heard the wordless whisper of an abiding, unseeable Friend, who translated the feeling of alone into All One.