An Unidentified Gift

I'm in India, and this is the view from my room in the apartment where I reside in Vrindavan.

My bedroom looks out onto a delightful green garden. Through this window I can see various trees, shrubs and a large patch of grass. The entire garden is encircled by a raised stone walkway.

I regularly hear the laughter of playing children, or catch sight of someone out on an early morning stroll. I can see and hear all this activity sitting at my desk by the window.

This view has special significance for me. Twice, in 2008 and then again in 2014, I was confined to this bedroom in a state of physical incapacitation. In 2008 I broke my knee, and then six years later I found myself here again with a broken ankle. Each time I was confined to bed for around 2 weeks. During these difficult periods, I sat looking wistfully out this window for hours. Monkeys roam freely in this garden, and I would hear them being chased by the guards who run along banging their sticks on the ground while making loud noises to move them on. And while children played I watched older people casually stroll along the raised pathway, and thought, "Don't they know that legs and mobility are a gift? A blessing that can be taken from us in a moment! Don't they see how fortunate they are to be able to walk and run or jump and play?"

I reflected soberly on how it felt to have temporarily lost this gifted ability, and in that state of internal reflection, I somehow felt grateful for my injury. And I felt a wave of immense appreciation for my instructive window view.

As my walking ability gradually returned, I retained a deep sense of gratitude for the gifted wisdom of the entire experience.

And to this day, I still reflect on another gift... the unique gift of mobility.