An Ordinary Day

It was an ordinary day
No surging feelings
No sudden inspirations
A day like most days
Very real and full of life.

Such a day has many blessings
Best of all a sense of calm
And a chance to reflect
On the ordinary beauty of living.

A quiet meditation at the zendo
A welcome greeting by the Roshi
Who conveys much warmth in few words.

A slow day at work
I gather a few facts
And make a few connections—
Typical for the early stages
Of a new project.

A friend reads my poem
And tells me about
What he is reading now.
We share a little of ourselves
And draw a little closer.

On my walk back from work
I see again the glorious tree
That in midsummer is covered
By many pink balls
(Size of softballs or a little bigger)
Made of soft pink filaments.
I do not know your name
So I will call you Pink Puff.

I saw you first last year
And was so glad to see
Your lovely blooms again.
As I walk by, I sense a gentle being
Who feels happy and proud
To be once again so adorned.
Pink Puff! I am happy too
That you share your beauty with us.

I remember a few days back
A huge black beetle
Walking at my feet.
Carefully I stepped around you.

I did not know your name either
So I called you Great Beetle.
Huge! for an insect you are
A paragon, a giant of your kind
You must be proud too
And I am happy for you.

A tentative union I feel
With all there is ...
The Roshi’s words
“May we extend this mind over the entire universe
      that we and all beings together
      may attain maturity in Buddha’s wisdom”
Feels so right, so true.

Thank you, God
For an ordinary day!

Summer 1984

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