Merus & Mr. Sapi
The sounds of shattering dishes and screaming permeate the wall to the next room. Young children sit before a broken television in a futile attempt to quiet their restless minds. One sibling leans to his older brother and whispers, “I wonder if they are going to get a divorce?” The older brother sighs as he stands and makes for the front door. “Where are you going,” his sibling asks. A look of annoyance spreads across his face as he throws the door open and storms into the front yard.
It was a gorgeous spring day with prodigious clouds and a cool, fresh breeze. The young boy found himself in a swing, which was comprised of two ropes, a weathered wooden plank, and was suspended beneath an enormous oak. He gently hummed to himself while he looked down and kicked the dirt… rocking, back and forth. A bright green lizard caught his attention as it climbed up the base of the tree. It moved in short increments, ever watchful, as its green skin faded to brown. The breeze picked up and the lizard bent its knees… bringing it closer to the bark below. “Do you see something interesting in the tree?” An old man was walking his dog… the boy knew him well. “Hello Mr. Sapi.” He said politely. “Merus, what troubles you on such a fine day? The grass is sweet, the flowers are blooming, the air is cool… it would take a mighty problem to bring such a good boy as yourself to the dirt.” The boy looked up, tears welling in his eyes, “My parents are fighting again. They ALWAYS fight… I just don’t understand why they are so unhappy.”
Mr Sapi’s face fell, and his eyes brightened, “Ahhh Merus, your parents do still love each other. I have known them throughout the course of their lives and have seen the sacrifices they have made. It is not uncommon to find yourself on a path that is not the one you want to be on…. And even more common still to stay on that path if it is the path of a dear friend. All people, including your mother and father, want to be satisfied with their own lives. They love each other dearly, but love sometimes forces us down a path that is not our own… and when we see the end, we regret not fulfilling our own needs.” Merus is staring straight into the eyes of the old man, “Mr Sapi, why would my parents stay together when they are not even happy?” Thinking for a minute, the man responded, “They are frustrated and they want to be satisfied, but they want to be satisfied together.. even though that may not be possible. We know, within ourselves, what it is that makes us happy. Sometimes that conflicts with what we are doing in life, and we do not allow ourselves to make the changes we need to, to be happy. We will absolutely be as satisfied as we allow ourselves to be, hopefully we will allow ourselves to be as satisfied as we want to be.
I understand that you are upset about your parents, and you may be right, they may be happier separated. However, you can learn from your situation and take many good things from it. Consider yourself, and the things that bring you joy in life… keep that list in your heart and go out of your way to fulfill it. If you meet someone with the same list as you, hold on to them and fulfill your lists together. Stay true to yourself and keep your heart open to the things you love. That is the path to a truly satisfying life, Merus.”
As Mr Sapi departed, Merus felt like crying. How had any of that helped him? Why did that man not tell him how to fix his parents? As he was thinking, he glanced back at the lizard and it made him feel better. A smile broke on his tear stained cheeks and Merus began to swing as the leaves of the ancient oak danced in the cool, spring breeze. His tears dried as he considered the things that made him happy, and he swung even higher. The old man had helped him, not his parents. Merus felt warmth within himself as he considered his own list growing… and he knew that when he found someone with the same list as his, they would satisfy them together. Merus realized then that the world would be as beautiful as they wanted it to be and it was good and he was at peace.