WE SIT

Yesterday, we sat.

In Zen, when you do sitting meditation you often skip the word meditation and you say you just sit. And that’s what we did, a monthly day of sitting.

Outside, temperatures climb and the snow melts. Birds fly. Cars run on the road. The post office opens for the morning two houses away, then closes.

We sit.

A dog barks, a woodpecker knocks on a tree. The heat comes on, goes off, comes on again. Door opens, people come in, leave some hours later, someone else comes in.

We sit.

During a short break I look out and see a man walk across the large icy pond below. The ice is thinner now, I think, he might fall in. A memory of the neighbor who lost her husband and son that way. A friend gave them a sled and he took the little boy out on the frozen pond. They went around in circles, the ice cracked, and the boy fell in. The father jumped in to save him, and both drowned. The friend never forgave herself for giving them the sled.

We sit.

At home a lovely woman comes to help out. She makes breakfast and lunch for Bernie, cooks dinner so that I won’t have to think about it when I come home, hangs up laundry, walks Stanley, feeds the birds.

We sit.

White clouds don’t move all day. Crows caw. Mild protests from my shoulders and lower back. I would scratch where it itches (not for me the Don’t move! Don’t scratch! Be still!), only I’m not sure I can find it. Maybe what scratches are the man’s footsteps on the ice, or the fluttering edges of a dry leaf on the ground.

We sit.

A hawk’s shadow. Man and dog walking on the path towards the church. Fragments of a past, imagined future, suddenly gone as if they fell into a hole.

We sit.

Get up. Extinguish oil lamps. Put away coffee, pack up cheese, crackers, apples, ginger snaps. Drive home, feed Stanley, go upstairs. How was it? Fine. Anything new? No. Here? No.