I’m still burning wood into June, in this long damp spring. Usually, my daughter’s birthday at the end of May marks the beginning of the swimming season, and many birthday parties have ended with an adult or two walking the little girls across the road in Elmore to the lake.
This year, while the children disappeared in the greenery, laughing, four adults stood around a fire, talking about everything from SBACs to dementia, while the damp wore into us. With an exhale, we could see the clouds of our breath.
Earlier that day, I had taken some children to a theater opening, and watched a magician blow bubble creations: a spinning carousel, a caterpillar, rainbow-hued bubbles-within-a-bubble. He told a story of keeping a bubble in a sealed glass container, checking it every morning as it changed hue, absorbing the air molecule by molecule, until one day it popped and disappeared.
Edging nearer the fire yesterday, I thought of this magician, waking up each morning, curious about the evolving state of his bubble, improbably spun from the simplicity of liquid and air, radiantly beautiful. The boy beside me had murmured, That is the coolest thing.
Zen pretty much comes down to three things — everything changes; everything is connected; pay attention.
– Jane Hirshfield