This book came as a gift to me through four inspiring individuals unknown to each other but drawn together with a common destiny for the birth of this book, then dispersing to continue their own spiritual path. Each one in sequence was to find their way to a little store opposite the former American Hotel, in rural and rustic Waterdown, Ontario where more than 150 years earlier four stage coach lines intersected on the Toronto, Dundas, London highway.
My encounter with each of these individuals has brought a distinctive grace into my life leaving me, predictably, feeling good and…. feeling God. Looking back, it is inevitable to me that their lives would coalesce into something as beautiful as the advent of this treasured vade mecum. Somehow, I was to have both an obstetric and now perhaps sole pediatric role in the arrival and the subsequent care for this treasured volume. For me it has become an inseparable companion and source of inspiration that I carry along at all times.
I had met ‘Paul Danielson’ in 1982 as I was preparing to exit the corporate world in some kind of meaningful response to a deep personal restlessness brought on by surprising and anguished flashes that had suddenly intruded on my “normal” life. I would gasp for breath as I saw the world at once on fire and enveloped in desperate darkness.
I was comforted on meeting Paul, another “normal” business person that summer and hearing his account of a 6 hour long “movie version” of my same short flashes that he had “seen” some nearly three years earlier staring out of a rainy window in a Northern Ontario lodge. I was relieved that his version came complete with reference points of events, numbers and a survival strategy. His story provided the first glimmers of context for my own personal disturbing experiences. I was also struck by his passion and commitment as he had already staked his total net worth and the status of his senior executive world on the imperative and uncertainty of this new calling.
He told me of finding a kindred visionary with a gold property that they sought to develop together to fund a response to this announced coming upheaval. I wholeheartedly joined his ventures on a full-time basis as there seemed to be nowhere else for me to go and nothing else promised to quell my inward restlessness.
Nine years later, Paul and I had left homes, careers and, regretfully, even families behind seeking to develop a sustainable business and community structure in face of this gathering storm as we understood it. We parted ways in 1991 at a dairy farm in rural Pennsylvania where we had worked for room and board after all our projects, one by one, had ground to a halt.
Returning to Canada the following year with the promise of a secure contract from a multi- national company in hand, Paul asked a real estate friend to find him a place to live “between Toronto and Buffalo”. As he moved into the apartment over the quaint store on 5 Mill St. South in the little town of Waterdown, his old pick-up truck died, the contract was canceled and the awaited welcome of friends never came. To his bewildered “why” he felt a deep inner prompting to be still and envision a new Canada that would inspire and empower a social, financial and spiritual renewal across the world.
His job for the next three marooned months was seemingly to walk the streets and wood paths of Waterdown, to sit in the local high school bleachers in the wee hours of the morning and to meditate and pray in his little apartment. Paul obediently followed this clear but perplexing inner direction, all the time attempting to grasp and believe in this promised transformation of Canada.
…to be continued