We lived in the countryside. I was five, maybe six years old. My parents owned one of the three local pubs. They hardly ever had time for me. I was a dreamy child, often unhappy, not quite what my parents envisaged.
One time, during winter, I woke up very early, and looking out of the window, I joyfully realized that snow had fallen. I could hardly wait to run outside, to our garden’s furthest edge, where, at the first twilight of dawn, I beheld the white fields and forests. Untouched, as if spell-bound, the snow-covered landscape was lying before me in complete silence. Awe-struck I reached for my harmonica and played a little tune. It stood in the clear winter silence like a silver sculpture. I was overwhelmed with the beauty of the moment, my heart ready to burst. Then silence fell again. I felt happy, like the whole universe was wrapped around me, lying before me in its sublimity, far beyond all the pettiness of the human condition. Something deep within me was yearning to gaze into this infinity and I felt that it held a secret. Something crucial which I, however, could not seewas what is the meaning of all this? My brain would nearly explode…
All of a sudden, a solitary thought entered my childlike mind: the reason for humanity (including myself) for being so unhappy and for the world at large being so miserable (I thought about children starving in Africa) is, quite simply, that people (including myself) do not know what is behind everything. Because they do not know the secret of eternity. Suddenly I understood and felt deeply sympathetic for all those yearning to be happy yet seeking in all the wrong places –without even realizing.
I remember telling my parents about my discovery, but neither did they know what to make of it nor did it seem important to them.
During my later childhood and adolescence that experience withdrew deep into the recesses of my subconscious. Today I believe that something called out to me from the past, attempting to show me a way. Much later, as an adult, something called out to me again, and I started to seek for the meaning of my life.
I have forgotten, possibly suppressed, almost everything about my early childhood. But thinking back at this single moment I can still clearly feel its sanctity.
I have come to the belief that human beings apply incredible amounts of energy, endure pain and sorrow, invest lots and lots of hope, love and dedication to create something good and find fulfilment – and yet they fail again and again, more often creating misery, destruction, sorrow and despair. Simply because they do not know about the pivotal One not of this world, waiting in the silence of eternity.
That’s why, I believe, the Spirit calls out for everybody.