CAN YOU SEE?
Mani S. Irani
After that so much happened. There was little room in our hearts for our own feelings. But after the 1969 Darshan in Guruprasad, Poona, when we returned to Meherazad there seemed to be for the first time the chance to think of ourselves, of our feelings, to reminisce, to allow our feelings to express themselves in private.
About two days after we returned, Eruch asked me to bring to him some papers Baba had given in my keeping. I said yes, and returned to the women's quarters and promptly forgot all about it. He had told me in the morning. Now the sun was setting and lanterns were being lit, and I suddenly remembered those papers. So I quickly opened my trunk, found the papers, and even though by then the visibility was poor, I walked over to the men's side.
But Eruch wasn't in his room. I found him washing his face at the tap outside his cabin. So I said, "Oh, Eruch, here are the papers." But he didn't answer. After washing, he wiped his face with the towel hanging outside his cabin. I waited patiently. But instead of turning to come toward his room, he turned his back on me and started walking towards the field, past the mango tree, and so on to the edge of the field.
I was puzzled, but all Eruch said was, "Come," and I followed. One could barely see, it was so dark, but Eruch stood at the edge of the field and I stood beside him, and he said, "Can you hear?" and I strained my ears.
Sure enough, because it was so still, from the other side of the field I could hear Baa-Baa, Baa-Baa, Baa-Baa, a continuous calling out of sheep, and it sounded like a calling of Baba's name. I said, "Yes, I hear." I realised that some shepherd had put his sheep in an enclosure for the night on our field. They do that sometimes on some field or another. They make an enclosure of thorny branches, so that the sheep are protected.
Eruch said, "Can you see?" I strained my eyes, and because some of the sheep were white and because they were restlessly moving about, I was able to see them.
I said, "Yes, I can see the sheep."
He said, "No, to the left. Can you see it to the left?" There was nothing to the left. It was quite dark, but as I looked I saw a darker shape which seemed like a big rock, a little distance from the sheep pen. Thoughts raced through my mind. How can there be a big rock in the middle of the field? No, it's not a rock. I suddenly realised it was a human being. It was the shepherd, and he was sitting there, still as a rock, and covered with one of those homespun blankets.
And Eruch said, "The sheep think that their shepherd has deserted his flock, that he is not there. They are restless, calling after him, searching for him, but the shepherd is sitting there keeping his gaze on his flock, protecting them, looking to them, looking at them. He will sit like that, still, facing them, seeing to them, all night long. He will not move from there. And when the dawn breaks, the sheep will see that their shepherd had never left them. He was there all the time.
THE TURNING OF THE KEY, pp. 254-256, Bill Le Page
1993 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust