Monday, April 10


I meditated outside after work today. I figured that my parents think I'm crazy meditating - I don't ever talk about buddhism with them, they're not big on religion - so I walked out to the lot next to our house under the pretense of an afternoon stroll. It, like most of the area around my house, was part of the thick forest surrounding my town; there was a swamp here that used to capture my imagination when I was younger and streams and paths cutting through the trees. Whoever owned the lot, however, had decided a couple years ago that they'd fix it up to sell. The swamp - and most of the two acres around it - have been transformed into a rocky flatland bordered by thin lines of trees and massive piles of dirt. The sight of the place used to fill me with wrath...When they first tried to sell the lot back when I was a freshman in high school (I think), I had taken the For Sale sign and hurled it into the swamp in the middle of the night. I came to accept it, eventually, but I never looked upon it with any sort of appreciation until today.

I stepped into the site and meandered about like a cat seeking a napping place; eventually I just kind of sat without knowing why. I set my timer - for 10 minutes, today - and focused my eyes ahead. Directly in front of me was ripped up ground, flattened out to make way for bulldozers and the like. Beyond about 50 square feet of this was a copse of trees, then an old stone wall left over from when this whole area was used for agriculture. To my left was the sun, peering through the tops of pine trees, and to the right was a thin line of trees separating the forest from the road and some houses. Behind me were more piles of broken earth and all around me were insects, bouncing and buzzing.

The place seemed to take on a peculiar beauty as soon as I sat down - it did not provoke the anger I used to feel when looking at the construction site. It was easy to understand impermanence here; There were healthy trees, dead trees, torn trees. There was one lone tree in the center of a patch of destroyed earth, still scraping the sky 30 ft up. On this land would eventually be a house, or someone's lawn or driveway. Kids would probably play here. A dog would probably wander around. And 50 years ago? It was just part of a produce-covered field, as evidenced by the crumbling stone wall.

It was this that occurred to me as insects landed and flew from my head, and it was then that I smiled.


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