‘Darby Harwood’ had been a free spirit for whom all things seemed to come easily. From spontaneous relationships to confidently leading direct sales teams in Western Canada the ball always seemed to bounce her way until 1986 when she found herself lying in the snow with a broken back beside her wrecked Volvo in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. She just wanted to go to sleep and escape the unbearable pain.
A resonant kind and distinctive voice urged her to be one with the pain and warned her that if she should sleep she would die. She struggled against the overwhelming drowsiness trying to envision how as a little girl she and her younger sister were admonished by their Dad, an aspiring Yoga teacher, to be one with the pain as their little bodies protested against holding such demanding contortions. “One with the pain! Be one with the pain!”
A truck driver arriving on the accident scene and seeking to help, peered under the umbrella that was sheltering Darby’s prone body from the falling snow and was startled to see the face of Jesus. This transformational experience led him to daily come, the nurses reported later to Darby, and sit by the young woman’s hospital bed for one week bringing her a Bible and a crucifix, finally departing shortly before she came out of her coma.
Darby had known about the dark days coming as long as she could remember. It was just the sheer scope and hopelessness of this looming anticipation that lay behind her inability to buy into any status quo and settle down to serious commitments. Faced now with her own mortality, limitations and personal pain, she was drawn to consider deeper values. Some years later her path led to an ashram when passing by on the street she recognized the taped voice of Yogi Muktananda as the one who had urged her to choose life at the scene of the car accident. She started to follow the spiritual path of the ashram and formed her life and work increasingly around her new convictions.
PAUL & DARBY
Some 14 years after moving from Mill Street, Paul crossed a wet parking lot to his job as an appliance salesman. Once again the promise of his dream was challenged as he had now left a re-invented career in leading more than a score of major corporations through the design and structure of strategic plans including an extended tenure with a major bank, providing to its chairman redevelopment strategies and management implementation for the bank’s global infrastructure.
He felt an impulse to pick up a flyer in a puddle telling of Reiki classes and sheepishly followed a strong inner conviction to call the unknown women in the flyer. Paul followed up with a visit to Darby Harwood and listened as she told of having received a large cheque in the tens of thousands of dollars bearing her name after placing a “single mom seeks work at home” online help wanted ad and accepting an offer from Scotland to represent an African charity. The cheque came with instructions that Darby cash it personally and send 90% of the proceeds to overseas individuals as notified. Urgently needing the promised 10% balance of the large cheque for rent and food for her young family but feeling uncertain about the integrity of the matter she asked her new friend Paul for advice who knew about banking. He suggested that Darby consult with his business partner.
I immediately recognized the name on the cheque as belonging to a prominent Canadian philanthropist and gold mining notable. Upon my collaboration with the signatory and Interpol, the cheque was determined to have been redirected through the deposit process, chemically altered and enhanced in favour of Darby. Darby and I received a substantial token of gratitude for the return of the cheque and Darby offered me a free therapy session in appreciation of my help.