One lone bullfrog
During our half hour mediation this morning that our monastic community makes halfway through our Office of Vigils, I was making my way slowly around our inner cloister garden, which I guess is a form of walking meditation that I will often partake in.
In the latter part of February here in the south, you can feel a taste of spring in the air. A cool refreshing breeze, winter-like, yet also gentle, like the difference of the bravado of a young man and the more humble and hopefully gentle soul of an older gentleman. I so love the early morning, before the cars begin to drive past our Monastery. Though the sound of passing cars is really not that distracting for me.
Sometimes, very early in the morning, the silence is so deep that it seeps into my bones, bringing rest to and often weary soul, with a drunken monkey mind. At other times, the silence brings out my own inner dance with my thoughts and emotions that make them louder and more demanding. This morning, thank God, I was in a peaceful place, and the dance I was doing was a waltz, a gentle one and not a mosh pit.
We have a small fountain in our cloister garden that is very beautiful and we have plants and goldfish living below its waters. I often forget that there is a bullfrog in residence as well, for during the day it is silent and for most of the winter, not a peep can be heard. Some mornings, however, it gives off its sound, even in winter if it is warm enough… calling, calling, for someone to respond. For the past few years, no one answers his forlorn call. This morning as I listened I waited hoping for a response, but as has been usual lately, there is only a silent waiting, without end, so it seems for our lonely bullfrog. Does our bullfrog know that it is waiting? Yet how like me, for I often forget that I am waiting also, sometimes not sure what it is, but when I wait and am silent, often saying my beads slowly, I feel ‘something’, a gentle response that washes away my fatigue with myself and life, and makes me feel young again. If I decide or am compelled not to wait, my fatigue only gets deeper making my soul brittle and desperate for rest. The noon-day-devil only takes and gives nothing in return.
The inner journey is a slow one, with many side steps and at times wrong paths are taken. Yet like walking the labyrinth, we circle in and out, taking one-step-at-a-time, until finally after a long journey we do arrive at the center, that for which we are made.