(Nature is the Best Teacher. My awesome friend on Twitter, @ksekher, permitted me to use this photograph he took from his stunning collection of the Grand Canyon landscapes.)
Today is a day that we are cherishing our days in school and perhaps remembering the teachers who truly contributed to the full fledged individuals we are now.
Happy Teachers Day to all
Happy Teachers Day to all
While in school, it didn't hold any significance for me because I didn't really have teachers who cared deeply enough to make a lasting impression. They had their favorites, which can be quite demotivating for the other students who don't make it to the top list.
However, that doesn't mean I don't value the teachers who taught me. I do. I also believe that we are constantly learning good, insightful things from people around us, from the little things they say and do.
Having said this, I want to thank a really important teacher in my life because she didn't teach me these things from a classroom. Today seems like a perfect day to pay tribute to her memory.
Its hard to talk about this once beautiful Dominican German nun without remembering her unconditional love to all her students. Her twinkling eyes and beautiful smile still remain with me though she passed away many years ago. She was beautiful and full of love.
Beyond the History classes she taught us while I was studying in Africa, she was my best friend, my guide, my everything. She taught me to love the Lord, no matter what the form. We had endless discussions on Krishna, Christ and Baba. We loved sharing our crazy thoughts with each other.
I was amazed to meet such a beautiful nun. I remember asking her why she chose to be a nun. I knew she missed her father's farm in Germany. I also knew she loved a young, handsome man who had even proposed to her.
Sister Illumina told me, "I loved that young man but I loved Jesus more. If it was a choice between the best of husbands, there could be only one winner and thats Jesus. He owned my heart."
The way she said it, it sprang from love than devotion or religious fervor. She truly believed Jesus to be the love of her life. Not God, not son of God but her love. I've never met a more love-filled nun. She would celebrate her wedding anniversary with Jesus in a grand way even though the Church dissapproved of her ways and warned her to 'behave.'
She did so many things. She used to farm with the African kids. She would sing love songs. She would give counseling to African AIDS patients. She lend her love to unwed, pregnant teens. She did not see the world in black and white. She simply loved everyone. She had a huge crush on our Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and used to say, "If I had met that handsome Prince, I would have proposed to him."
I think I was blessed that she loved me like a mother and always told me she would be watching over me even if she was gone. She was always there for me. She taught me to believe in the voice of God, guiding me always. She told me to trust the Lord and love others no matter how they seemed outside. Its amazing but I've never met a true Christian like her. I believe she was very special to Jesus. I think Jesus was lucky to have some one who loved him with such purity and unwavering love.
When I left Africa, she wrote to me month after month. She sent me photos of the places she traveled to. I always waited eagerly for her letters. Those were the times when the Internet had not even caught on. When the letters stopped reaching me, I knew. She had gone.
I miss her terribly but I've never cried for her because I believe she is happier being with Jesus and I want her to stay there in her world. Today, after many years, I hold her memory close to my heart and just hope that she knows I remember and value the good times we had together.
Happy Teachers Day.