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  • Writer's pictureReuben Berger

Meeting a Neighbor

Updated: Jan 28, 2021

I met a new neighbor yesterday. We stood at the top of the driveway beside a big flat ancient rock just at the perfect spot under some lovely trees. My new neighbor was going to plow the long driveway this winter that ended beside a cute little cabin with a wood stove on the edge of untouched Canadian wilderness.


For twenty six years I had been coming up to this lovely slice of paradise. However, for most of that time, I was just alone. After losing the deepest love at such a young age, all I ever really knew was a feeling of being very alone. However, for most of those years, I wasn't consciously aware of how I felt deep down. And, I was certainly not aware of how I kept busy, distracted with 'friends' as a way to cover up something deeper.


For all these years, we've had the cabin, I'd snow shoe up the long driveway in the winter pulling a sled of supplies behind me. I'd walk into the freezing cold cabin and get a fire going. Then, some hours later, I'd turn on the water and before long, I'd be soaking in a hot bath. Well, this year, everything will be the same except now I'll be able to drive up to the cabin.


Someone asked me when I was going back this summer and I realized that there is no going 'back' in life ~ there is only going forward to higher levels of consciousness. Our unconscious patterns are the trickiest to 'heal' because of all our hidden strategies to 'cope' with them.

Where had the adventure of life gone? Life is supposed to be awesome, exciting, full of adventure, true friendship, true love, beauty, joy and all the good things. Well, after a very long healing journey, I looked around and saw the condition of others in my life or even those I'd pass by on the streets. I realized that people need healing, true spiritual teachings, friendship and a feeling that their life matters.


This year, 2020, I was able to cut away some of the last few distractions that I had occupied my days with. I found myself discovering new inspiration like turning the forest around the waterfall into a beautiful nature theater and so I tried my best to make the seating as lovely as possible. I built a stone staircase with rocks from the falls with a special friend. I realized that creating beauty is perhaps the best thing that I can do to help make the world a better place. I realized that I have always tried my best to see the beauty in others and help them in any way I can channel their beauty into whatever they love to do the most.


The word education comes from the latin 'edu care' which means to uncover. And so the whole point of education is to uncover who we truly are and to give us the confidence to make that blossom and share it with the world.


I had gone to teacher's college but was supremely bored. The summer prior to teacher's college, I took a nine day canoe trip leadership course and had the time of my life, learned so much and became a competent wilderness canoe guide which I went on to pursue for ten years, starting my own company for the last four. I loved that work. I'd often say as we'd be paddling across a calm lake on a sunny day, 'Another day in the office'. To me, the best teachers are those who have discovered what they love to do and pursue that with all their heart and soul.


It was in Teacher's college, when having to choose an assignment, I decided that I would write four short stories. That was what I remember most from teacher's college because I had tapped into something that comes very naturally to me. For many years I had kept a journal. It was like when I had no one in the world to talk with, I could at least write out my thoughts and feelings so I could put them somewhere else outside of me.


The strange thing about writing is that you're only a writer when you write. There have been so many times on my journey when I didn't write and it was like a part of me went missing. I feel that this year, I have been picking up many of the missing pieces and not surprising that I'm feeling better for I discovered that the more time I spend doing what I love to do, the happier I am.


It will be nice to have the driveway plowed this winter for I sure do have a lot to write about after my long journey. It was wonderful to meet a new neighbor who has fallen in love with this little slice of nature. When we create beauty around us, that energy spreads out and helps create more beauty in the world. Yes, the 'times we live in' can seem quite gloomy to many but each moment you get to choose what you want to focus on.


I said goodbye to my neighbor after a good chat and felt a little warmer as I headed back in to the cozy cabin on a later October day.


Toronto

October 30, 2020


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