The sound of a leaf blowing machine breaks the morning silence.
On the verge of entering into meditation my body contracts.
My breath is held in tightness.
The sound reminds me of a scooter or a rickshaw.
An incessant on…… off.. on… off……. on… off.. on.. off…. on……… off.. on…..
I feel irritated, my nerves raw as if a tooth were being drilled.
Unable to find rhythm or melody in this cacophony, I want to scream.
My heart mourns the silence lost in the herding of fallen leaves.
I want to walk and drag my feet through them.
To smell the pungent odor of their slow decay.
Memories of being a child on the East Coast, in the Fall.
The sound of raking leaves over grass, dirt, and walkways.
The old wooden rakes and the springy metal ones that kind of bounce.
The patterns that are left behind.
Piles of leaves to run through, jump into, and toss in the air.
The crispy yellow and orange ones that seem to float.
The scent of leaves burning on a Sunday afternoon,
When pollution was not yet a common, everyday word.
I miss the soft, rhythmic sound of sweeping in the pre dawn silence.
Coming down to the courtyard in front of the temple
And finding the semi circular paint brush patterns left in the sand.
The gentle mindfulness contained therein.
I hear the voice of Cat Stevens and a song from long ago,
Morning has broken … Praise every morning
Hovering between two worlds I am of neither.
I close the window, pick up my cushion and walk out of the bedroom.
In a few steps I reach the other end of my flat.
The noise recedes behind closed doors.
Surrounded by Amma, Buddha and Quan Yin
I gently place my cushion on the floor.
Offering my prostrations to the Divine,
I close my eyes to follow the rhythm of my breath towards home.