Tartu, Estonia – page 2
Unfortunately, I didn’t understand the logic behind—nor language used within—the purchase agreement, the deed, or any of the other pertinent papers and the translator was growing increasingly frustrated with each of his attempts to explain the documents. After several failed attempts (each leaving me more confused) I took a deep breath, crossed my fingers and pretending to understand, I nodded affirmatively. It was clear to me that I was not going to comprehend the documents without a masters degree in Soviet Mentality Bureaucratic Paperwork and this was a time for faith.
Since terms like fee simple and title search didn’t appear in my papers, I interrupted occasionally to ask questions like, “This means that the property will absolutely be mine, right?” and “I can resell this flat later with no problems, yes?” and, “No one will come knocking on my door next month and try to reclaim this property, correct?” The translator assured me that, as far as he could tell, my assumptions were correct.
The money transfer time had arrived.
So, with the translator’s ambiguous reassurances ringing in my ears, I walked alone to the bank to complete the final stage of the purchase.
Within two minutes, four thousand three hundred and twenty-seven U.S. dollars—slightly more than half of my life savings—went from my hands into an account whose number the notary had earlier written on a piece of paper.
I remembered a mantra that I had learned many years before but had almost forgotten, since it had no real meaning to me. I trust that the universe takes care of me and so it does; I silently repeated, as I slipped the money into the steel tray and it slid beyond my grasp behind the glass bank partition. And as I repeated the mantra, I trusted that my life was unfolding exactly as it was meant to unfold. I trusted each and every situation and person within my life—including the woman who was now counting my money—and my decisions, implicitly.
Instantly, I felt the presence of God—not a small, judgmental being; but an all-powerful, loving force that lived within every experience of life, and came to life within moments of unquestioning faith in the goodness of others. A loving force that would assist me, instantly, upon my request. This God connected me with my universe and all of the good that existed within it, while protecting me and holding me within love. Within that moment I wondered if this God existed only because I believed in it. And if so; why did I not believe more often? Instantly, I was overcome with guilt for being so presumptuous.
Upon leaving the bank, my mood took an upturn as a wave of relief rushed through me. I realized that it was finally a done deal; for better or for worse, it was over. A second realization quickly followed; one that brought with it much more than a rush. I had just bought my first piece of property in my own name! I wanted to dance down the street in celebration. I imagined singing and shouting from the rooftops, announcing to the world that I had done it. I had bought a home—small, cheap and in a developing country—but it was mine! Instead I walked silently through the snow to my bus stop and returned to my rental flat where I resumed packing. In spite of my silence and calm demeanor I knew that it was the beginning of a new era and a smile was born in my heart that day. It was the advent of my appreciation of the accomplishments in life that demand faith in something greater than I; and knowing that within my personal connection to God, anything was possible. I was Peter walking on the water and I vowed to look ahead and not down at the crashing waves beneath me, from there on out. But since this connection with a God, who lived somewhere outside of me, seemed to be a random event, this was a commitment that I found impossible to keep.
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