I’d like to introduce you to the children of Doloswala Rubber Estate. These children taught me alot in the months that I spent with them. Nothing like a room filled with 40 kids, of all ages, yelling, fighting, running, hitting… to test your love and compassion. And boy, did they test me. And boy, at times, did I fail.
I’m a work in progress.
I don’t know if words can describe the special moments. The love and the care. The generosity. The eyes and the smiles. The laughter. How we could communicate and understand each other, without actually understanding each other.
At one point, I took a few days off and went to a meditation retreat, and the oddest thing happened (well, many odd things happened, but I’ll only share one moment for now). I had a discussion with the meditation teacher about when I’m with the children, 40 of them, each with their own questions, and needs, and pain. How time slows down, it slows down in a way that I can attend to all of them, all at once. It’s challenging, but at the same time it happens with such ease. However, sitting there, at that retreat, in the beautiful hills of Kandy, with amazing food, birds singing, and the sun shining, I didn’t feel at peace, not the way I do when I am with the children.
When I’m with the children, all I care for is their wellbeing. I forget about my needs and desires, even my spiritual ones. I’m not grasping for anything.
” Spiritual progress in measured neither by self-imposed penance nor by the sweetest pleasures of mystical experiences, but by the growth in constant love of others and through serving them.”
Teresa of Avila
If Father Jeewantha were to be reading this, he would probably be rolling on the floor laughing, because obviously, it wasn’t always like that. I had many moments where I was pulling my hair out and wanted to run. To be continued…
For now , let me introduce you to Bhagavan.
Bhagavan is my unofficial assistant. We seem to be able to communicate beyond our lack of common language. It’s a reflection of how sharp he is more than anything. When I first met him, he told me his whole story, with that beautiful smile. But I could sense his sadness, his feelings of abandonment. Even though he is so young, he has already lived through alot. My love for Bhagavan was obvious to all. He is the type of boy that jumps off the highest cliffs, he is the “carem board ” champion, and teaches me how to play. He is the one that breaks up the fights, even when the boys are twice his size. He’s, well, he’s just really cool.