FOLLOW YOUR HEART
By Uriah J. Fields
It was in mid-March of l992 when I canceled all activities at the Mutuality Center for Creative Living in Los Angeles where I was director and made plans to visit Malathi Karuven Sandhu. My Most Significant Other was a professor at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona.
The day before I was scheduled to leave Los Angeles I received a telephone call from Malathi that informed me she had been asked by the President of NAU to take the place of a fellow-colleague who had and emergency and would not be able to attend an out-of-state Education Conference.
I decided that I would "follow my heart" and travel to Flagstaff as I had planned even though I would not be able to see Malathi who I really wanted to spend time with and do together things we had talked about doing. I arrived in Flagstaff by train on a windy day in March. Not being able to visit Malathi in her home as I had done on previous trips to Flagstaff, I checked in at the Comfort Inn Hotel.
The following day I decided that I would take a bus that leaves Flagstaff nearly every day and visit the Grand Canyon. The passenger seated next to me on the bus trip to the Grand Canyon was a young woman from Japan. She was probably in her late twenties or early thirties. We shared a lot while on that approximately 75-mile bus trip. She said this was her first visit to America, that she was traveling alone and will be visiting several states. She had heard and read much about the Grand Canyon and was looking forward to the experience that was about to unfold.
Although, I had visited the Grand Canyon a year earlier with my Most Significant Other, I found being alone on this trip was different but meaningful. I met people most of them foreigners, with whom I had brief conversations. However, the highlight of this visit was experiencing the natural and exquisite beauty of the Grand Canyon, seemingly more delightful than I had experienced during my earlier visit.
On the third day of my visit to Flagstaff I walked around town for more than a few hours and frequented two restaurants and two book stores. I purchased the book, "A Better Way to Live" by Og Mandino. I had read several of his books, including "The Greatest Salesman In the World.". When I returned to my hotel I began reading this book with a passion. And before I ceased reading it, except to have a drink of water, I was on page seventy-seven where I discovered a poem that caused me to experience an upsurging of gratitude and joy. Og Mandino said he received a tiny yellow card with this poem on it, printed in green from Wilton Hall, publisher of "Quote" Magazine and that for many years he had shared it with his audiences during his speaking engagements. This poem titled, "Lord Forgive Me When I Whine!" impacted me deeply and I said to myself while still in Flagstaff that when I return to Los Angeles I am going to compose lead sheet music for these words. Here are the words:
"Today upon a bus, I saw a lovely girl with golden hair.
I envied her ... she seemed so gay ... and I wished I were as fair.
When suddenly she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the aisle:
She had one leg and wore a crutch; But as she passed .. a smile!
Oh, God forgive me when I whine. I have two legs The world is mine!
I stopped to buy some candy, The lad who sold it had such charm,
I talked with him. He seemed so glad. If I were late 'twould do no harm.
And as I left he said to me, "I thank you. You have been so kind.
It's nice to talk with folks like you." You see, He said, "I'm blind!"
Later, while walking down the street, I saw a child with eyes of blue.
He stood and watched the others play. He did not know what to do.
I stopped a moment then I said, "Why don't you join the others dear?"
He looked ahead without a word, and then I knew he could not hear.
Oh, God forgive me when I whine. I have two ears. The world is mine!
With feet too take me where I'd go, with eyes to see the sunset's glow,
With ears to hear what I would know ... Oh, God forgive me when I whine.
I'm blessed indeed. The world is mine!
Although I did not visit with My Most Significant Other during that trip to Flagstaff, I receive a blessing, perhaps many blessings, that would not have happened if Malathi had not gone out-of-state and if I had not "followed my heart" and visited Flagstaff just as I had planned to do before learning that I would not be able to see Malathi during that visit.
During the last twenty-five years I have often sang, unlike Mandino who recited, "Lord Forgive Me When I Whine!" before delivering my speech.
The moral of this story is "Follow your heart." When your heart tells you to do it; do it. Or, not do it; don't do it. "Follow your heart."
When I shared this story with Malathi, first by telephone and later face-to-face she was glad that I had such rich experience. She too, was pleased with her representation at the Education Conference. Our bond of mutuality made it possible for us to flow, grow, enjoy and give all to love, even when the unexpected was the reality.
Copyright 2017 by Uriah J. Fields
P.S. If this story had meaning for you, please share it with others. That's what mutualty is all about.