The leaves rustle in the breeze. Anthony and I stroll along the shore. There is an understanding that we all come from different walks of life; from different traditions and belief systems and yet we all breathe the same air; we feel the same bodily pain, we feel the same need for food and drink and we all thirst for the joyful inner song -- that essence of being that moves beyond physicality to play its own sacred song, a song that has no words for it is beyond words -- music that is rare to find for it is the gold that the alchemist works long and hard to find -- it is the music of the soul.
A box of sweet chocolates was what brought Anthony and I together. During a pilgrimage to Constantinople, the bustling modern Istanbul, I sat with Eva and Aysha at Gezi, drinking Turkish tea and talking about life. Aysha got up and returned with two boxes of chocolates; one she said was for me and the other for Anthony. Who was this Anthony, I wondered? Eva and Aysha smiled and I promised to carry this cargo to Athens and give it to Anthony.
After my return to Athens, I tried in vain to get hold of Anthony. At first he was unavailable, as he had gone to India and when eventually I made an appointment to see him, the roads around Athens closed because of a strike, preventing me from keeping the appointment. I had finished my box of delicious chocolates and Anthony's bag called out to me; should they just be eaten and could I forget about trying harder to reach him?
A week later, carrying the box of chocolates, I was ushered in to a beautiful lounge filled with extraordinary plants and flowers. It was like being in a garden, and then Anthony came through the door. The smile on his face and his serene countenance gave me strength, as I handed over the gift that had brought me to him. Anthony became my teacher of meditation; I shared with him my deeper questions and found similarities in our paths. We met on numerous occasions, sharing words of wisdom and much more.
As we walked along the shore on our way to Delphi, Anthony's clear laughter entered my soul. We spoke about Mindfulness, and the importance of Becoming in today's world. In Delphi, we shared the deep historical culture and the call of the Mother, for she was present in our endeavors to connect with the depth. Softly spoken and real in an everyday sense, Anthony carried with him a sense of brotherhood that joined all those who ever gathered around to hear him speak. Simple and courageous he understood the battle of self and Self clearly, always giving encouragement and leaving pearls of wisdom behind him; tiny seeds that would remain in the earth to begin to sprout when the time was right.
It was an honorable journey of three years, with moments of rich silence and acknowledgment for the great Mystery of Life that brings us together. His beautiful soul and rich heart comforted me and even though he is no longer with me on this plane he shall forever hold his place in my heart. The news of his passing in Brazil shocked me and yet, he passed in the midst of his great work, with people who he loved and cared about, and who respected and loved him.
Two days prior to his passing, we had scheduled a meeting soon after his return from Brazil, and as I placed his picture on my bookshelf I realized that we would have a meeting every moment of the day and that his presence is very much alive and this is what brings me joy. On this continuum of life, we come together and break apart and yet we are always joined in heart, for those who truly touch the soul, can never be parted. Anthony Strano touched my heart and soul; I know that I am not alone, for he has touched the hearts of many. I will always remember him with the light shining in his heart and his gentle nature that was eternal. May his journey be filled with the grace he lived his life here on this plane with, for he was a rare diamond.