Servant of Life

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I reached the park

Next to the temple,

Accompanied by each

Of my terrible fears.

The sun was not oblivious,

Touched me with modest strength

Without ever intruding.

I sat on a moss-filled bench,

Took off my shoes and socks,

Rested my feet on the dried,

Browned leaves of winter’s end.

Then I crossed my legs,

Straightened my back to meditate,

And instantly, I started to cry.

I heaved, I wailed,

My sadness painted

Every hill and pathway

At the foot of the temple.

When my sobs weakened,

Weary, I lifted my head

From its home in my thin,

Cold hands, my heart heavy,

Until, and I don’t know how,

The clattering in my mind stilled,

As though I had made

The whole thing up,

All the restless years of my life,

And in front of me,

Bathed in complete silence,

The things before me appeared

As if for the first time,

And the tree was a tree,

The rolling hills, hills,

A gentle, chilled breeze

Was not the leaves chattering,

Heads bent together in glee,

Was just wind in the tree,

And the quiet revealed to me

In stark relief the theatre of noise

I had mistaken for

The heart of my existence.

I sat in wonder.

I laughed in my heart.

I am here for no other reason,

I realized, than just to be,

In service of what

Has always been here,

And cannot disappear,

And I have to move,

Finally, as I long to,

In the flow of the one

Constant, the one truth

Of this motion unceasing,

This perpetual gift

Of our lives in this life,

From the place that doesn’t die.

 

– Tammy Takahashi

 

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