The Theosophical Forum – February 1938

BIRDS OF PASSAGE — Gertrude W. van Pelt

It is this that we humans are. We come to Earth after dipping in the refreshing Waters of Lethe, build our nests and live our lives. Then, after dipping once more into those merciful waters, we pass into the realms which infallibly attract us, there to remain until again the call to our old haunts is imperative. But as we built our nests, we formed our ties, we incurred our debts, sometimes heavy ones.

As humans we have done this an uncountable number of times, and who knows in the webs of destiny which we have woven, how many hard knots we have tied, how many cruel seeds we have carelessly sown, covered, we may fancy, by the fair flowers which likewise we may have planted and nourished by the way. Perchance we have seen the cruel seeds sprout and blossom and darken the life of one we really loved, but whose clashing aura blinded us or rendered us careless until it was too late to destroy our evil blossom, and our human bird of passage passed on over his path of destiny, while we stayed behind and longed for another chance.

And who knows how many debts we have left behind us on our journeys; services we have accepted while forgetting the servers; how many times we have taken advantage of another's ignorance or helplessness and gone on our way hugging coveted treasures we had not earned.

And now, having passed once more through the Waters of Lethe, we are here again, traveling over some of the trails we have blazed in the past, meeting in secluded nooks, in open arenas, friends, enemies, or those who are neutral; those who attract and those who repel.

But who among this throng of wayfarers are those for whom we asked "another chance'? Who are those who in life's Ledger hold accounts against us? The subtle marking on their breasts may escape our sight, yet here they are again, crossing our road and passing into the distance, or walking beside us for long stretches on the Path; and the glorious opportunities are ours once more. They cannot reveal themselves, for neither do they see the markings on our breasts. Yet, at least, we can welcome all our fellow travelers in sympathy, filled with a longing to deal with them justly, generously, and understandingly, knowing that each traveler has his own temptations to meet, his own ignorance to blind him, his own danger of losing his way, and knowing too, that the subtle webs of destiny bind us all together.

Theosophical University Press Online Edition