Photo/Painting by S. Auberle
After the first bike ride of spring on this incredible day, I came home and began looking through old boxes of poems and found this beautiful springtime piece. But the real story behind it is this: quite a few years ago, a dear friend was dying in another city far away. I knew her death would be soon, and when the call came that morning I wasn't surprised. What did surprise me, however, was that immediately after I received the call and went to e-mail other friends, this poem appeared on a website that I had accidentally opened (or not)...
AFTER SHEN ZHOU
A single chime of jade across the waters
as along this rocky shore the moment expands
and somewhere within it is hidden a dwelling apart
to which only the absolute ones make good their escape.
The Way seems not to exist (so the master taught)
and yet it is there--and springtime returns once more,
ageless and unreclaimed, to the inner lands.
What purity! The peach trees are in blossom,
birds chirp and stir, and there by the narrow stream
two white-robed figures wait to greet my crossing...
Shall I not make my move at last, and join them?
~ Frederick Morgan