Walking home from the bus I see Theo’s neon pink BMX leaning against the shop. I creep up to the bike and spin it around. I look up at the boys in the shop across the road and smile, put my finger to my lips. They light up, “Yes yes take it, take it. I go behind the truck. Theo walks out. The boys arms waving frantically telling Theo they see someone take it and go down the road. They don’t know if ‘theif they thief’ or just go for a ride. It’s all unimaginable because everyone knows everyone in the area. Theo walks quietly back into the shop and I am thinking damn I don’t want to give this man more pressure so I come out from my hiding and walk back up to the shop. In the meantime all the boys are calling, “Theo. Theo! Look your wife have the bike.” The boys are laughing his name out, “Theo. Theo. Theo.” Finally he turns around and sees me with his bike and busts out in a gorgeous giant grin.
I reflect on Theo and his buddha like nature (most times). I remember many moons ago when one of the youth from the village broke off a good portion of his ready-to-be harvested corn and Theo commenting, “Next time I’ll plant more so he has to work a little harder.” Or the time the same youth a few years later stole a rabbit from our pen. Theo and I on the verandah enjoying our evening splif when the youth man arrives pleading for Theo to take the curse off the rabbit he stole. And Theo laughing. And the boy in a panic saying he ate the rabbit last night and he feeling funny like Theo must have done something to the rabbit, put a curse on the rabbit. And Theo laughing. And the boy getting more and more frightened saying he’s afraid he might not wake up in the morning. And me in the background telling Theo to tell the youth there is no curse on the rabbit. And the youth man saying he don’t want to dead. And Theo saying, “Well if you dead you dead.” And now the youth man begging Theo to call a price for the rabbit. And Theo calls a price. But the youth not satisfied, “Nah Man, the rabbit worth more than that.” All to say the youth man woke up in the morning, Theo got some money for the rabbit and all restored.
I admire these occasions where Theo could have flown into a rage just like he could have flown into a rage when he saw his bike gone the other day. His Buddha like nature in these instances honourable, kind and buddha like. How to hold the tension of strong emotions and find equanimity, a balance in how we respond to provocative times in our lives. Thanks for the teachings, Theo.