This spring, I almost lost my son. During this time, everything fell away except for him, and the incalculable value of his precious life. I, his father, his sisters and brothers, and his entire community kept vigil and held him in love as we watched him ride the wave between life and death. We were doing everything medically that could be done; it was out of our hands.
As we approached what felt like a still point, I noticed how simply present I was with my son, loving him simply, purely, with no conditions. It felt effortless. How often in the past I had felt my heart contract around this unfinished task, or that unanswered text, or the pile of plates in his room.
Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, a 13th century Persian Sufi mystic wrote:
The clear bead at the center changes everything,
There are no edges to my loving now,
I’ve heard it said that there’s a window that
Opens from one mind to another.
But if there’s no wall, there’s no need for fitting the window or the latch
I saw, and continue to see, how there have been edges to my loving. Fear induces that contraction, causing us to pull back, creating separation, and the experience of a wall. I see how the tendrils of fear reach back into my own history, and beyond, into our collective experience as human beings. We pay a painful and exorbitant price for fear, and the experience of separation and isolation that it engenders. Consider Orlando. What wisdom, devotion and clarity it takes to cultivate an undefended heart!
As if gliding gracefully in on a wave, my son emerged once more into life, leaving the brink behind him. And now, yes, he does need to learn how to finish tasks, respond to texts, (most of the time,) and clean up his room, yet surely he will grow most vibrantly in the unrestricted light of love. Can I dispense with the fitting of the windows and the latches, and allow my heart to respond fully to the need of the moment: from tenderness to ferocity, and everything in-between?
I am consecrating myself to the wisdom and the power of love without edges- may it be my teacher, (often in the form of my son!) I offer you the practice to notice your own edges, and to consider the possibility of living a love that is boundless.