Sparkling Waters

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Sparkling waters speaking, a language their own

Bursting bubbles everywhere

Hearing sounds, not understanding words

Intertwining in meaning

Deepening redwoods, mossying alders

Graying jay, downying woodpecker

Spawning salmon, flowing water

Lengthening shadows

Elk River, a winter day.


Cleansing Winter Storms

Mountain ridge in the Eastern High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Mountain ridge in the Eastern High Atlas Mountains, Morocco in a winter storm.

“Scrubbed clean by the dawn wind, the night mist clears. Dimly seen, the blue mountains form a single line.”

~ Eihei Dogen (1248)

As I head to work, the once expansive clouds are now scattered and the sun is peaking out for the first time in a few days. With the scattered clouds come bouts of rain showers that are heavy at times. My mind, like the clouds, is scattered and like the storms is tumultuous. It’s racing and taking me with it. I notice this because of my actions and words which reflect a tumultuous mind and wonder at the reason. Perhaps it’s simply because I am running a bit late today and feel anxious. Bu where does this anxiety come from? Do I create it myself with expectations of when I “should” (I seriously dislike this world and seldom use it) arrive at work and its associated guilt? But what am I late to and for whom do I rush? And who exactly is doing all this rushing around chasing after things I can never catch?

The clouds part and sunrays beam through the sky like so many paintings of heavenly light. I look westward and see a partial rainbow, subtle and diffuse, hanging in a gigantic cumulous cloud. My agitated mind softens at the sight of so much beauty and I am reminded that even in the tumult of storms there is the sun shining bright and rainbows manifesting the colors of light. Rainbows form where storminess and calmness meet, where there is both raincloud and sunlight. This interpenetration of light and dark, storm cloud and clear sky, agitation and calm is the nature of our minds, our lives and this world we live it. How could it be any other way?

Onward I drive with a calmer mind and I laugh to myself – really at myself – at the ease with which I get caught up in my own mind. With a lighter heart I let the rainbow continue to radiate within, reminding me of the sun that is always shining above whatever clouds I create, whatever clouds there are. Do I hold on to this mind or let it flow freely, not resting on anything?