Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Although ‘Abdu’l-Bahá greatly enjoyed the beautiful scenery, and the comfortable and quiet setting of Lake Mohonk, He was glad to come back to New York. He loved the Riverside Park area. He had selected a secluded spot there where He liked to go daily and walk by Himself or “sleep on the grass” a few minutes to rest. “When I am alone, exhaustion is removed and I am relaxed,” He said. Sometimes, He allowed the friends to go with Him to this “hallowed spot,” “His Garden,” as the friends named the place and a recurring name in Juliet’s and Mahmud’s diaries.

Juliet Thompson -- As I got off the bus at Seventy-Eighth Street and Riverside Drive I saw Him at the centre of a little group standing beside that strip of park that drops low to the river--the part we love to call "His garden", a forever hallowed spot to us, for there we sometimes walk with Him in the evenings, there He takes His daily exercise, or escapes from the house to rest and pray.

When He was tired during these days He would often go alone in the afternoon to the park near Riverside Drive. He explained: `When I sleep on the grass, I obtain relief from exhaustion and am freed from cares. If I am not alone, I will talk and perspire and will not become relaxed and free of cares.' As always, people were continually coming and going both day and night. Everyone was anxious to see Him and He spoke to them continuously. It was impossible for Him to get any rest except when He went out alone.

On going to the Master’s home the next morning, Juliet found Him in the street near “His Garden,” with a group of friends whom He was anointing with attar of rose. Then He welcomed a young man who turned out to be Walter Hampden, the actor playing the part of Jesus in a play. Mr. Hampden, afterward, came every day to visit.

One evening Juliet and some of her friends were following ‘Abdu’l-Bahá down the paths of His Garden when a band of screaming children rushed out from the bushes, laughing and throwing stones at the group. The Master swept at them at a distance, saying with sorrow: “The people of the world are blind.” The children “melted back into the shadow as if they had never existed.” Later the Master added, “they laughed at Me, yet My dress is the dress of Jesus, just the same that He wore.”

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