A long train journey a few days ago gave me the wonderful encounter with Danilo, a strong Spirit whose right leg had been amputated due to a serious accident.
“The strange thing,” Danilo tells me, “is that I still feel my leg, because I’ve been suffering from phantom limb syndrome for over a year now. It’s so close yet so far away, and it causes me great pain.” The pain was crystal clear, his mouth trembled just talking about it, yet his entire Being was bright, expansive, filling the field with sweetness.
He tells me how he felt tired before the accident, how his life was already full of problems, how he had lost his way, why he couldn’t avoid getting into the car that day. Then a pause, waiting for my response.
“I have a feeling you know that there is much more to this, much more than an accident, much more than a phantom limb. I feel you are saddened by your words but grateful in your heart.”
“That’s right. Everything has changed since then, I have changed.”
“You don’t know how much I understand you, Danilo, I have suffered from your syndrome for a long time too, and ultimately, we all suffer from it without knowing.”
His expression immediately becomes incredulous and he asks me to explain.
“All of us have lost something dear to us, something that we feel with all our heart is always here, always close, but that we can no longer see. We live every day with this profound melancholy that accompanies our breath.” His eyes light up: “What is it about?”. “I know you also know, that deep down you remember its scent, its loving atmosphere, its embrace, its understanding, its compassionate gaze: we miss Home, the vision of Her, and the company of that family that inhabited Her.”
He asks me, “When did we forget all this?”. “It doesn’t matter, the whole Universe is working to help us remember.”
A long, emotional silence holds us close for a while. Then he smiles and exclaims, “You’re right, I have the syndrome of the phantom Home-Family!”.
Because what we call ‘incidents on the Path’ are often an offer of Peace that Life presents us with as a gift: one-way tickets to return to being Us, to return to where we come from.
A familiar embrace.