I got up early this morning,
Walking along Lake Demontreville .
Everybody is still sleeping
Birds are singing,
To start a new day .

In the sky,
Clouds of different colors are floating,
Reflecting images on the blue surface of the lake .

A blue heron stands still on one long leg,
Waiting with a long neck for a school of
Unfortunate fish to come .
Swimming farther away is a pair of loons,
Symbols of the wilderness,
Checkerboard backs with white necklaces,
Black heads, deep red eyes .
They look so nice!
So great!

The fresh morning breeze caresses my face .
Sweetly, gently,
I walk slowly, counting each footstep;
Breathing in and out , flowing the ďchiĒ*
Spreading to the veins, arteries in my body .

I feel refreshed .
My concerns, worries, frustrations
Have been transformed .
Non-attachment to any views, any forms .
I become a new person .
I feel peace within myself .
I am free!

A withered brownish leaf,
After a long Minnesota winter,
Still clings to the branch of a tree,
Trying to hold on to life .

A feeling of sadness has just arisen in me .
In a moment, I feel that leaf is myself,
I am that leaf .
We become oneness .
Oneness between my mind and my body;
Oneness between what I see and what is in me .

I continue my walk into the forest .
A green ruby-throated hummingbird
Is flying near a golden yellow flower like a bee,
Trying to suck nectar, may be .
Or to catch the insects .
It is a black-eyed Susan,
With ten, twenty daisy petals
Surrounding a dark brown button at the center .

Hoary puccoon,
Daisy fleabane, New England aster;
Pink, purple petals
Are blooming brightly in sunlight .

I look up at the sky .
The sun rises .
A big round red disk
Coming closer and closer .
The moon, Venus have departed .

I am thinking of the stars .
Billions upon billions of them in the Cosmos .
Some are bright, some dark .
Some shine, others flicker .

Each star is a lonely wanderer
In the Cosmic Ocean,
Going through the aging process .
Blue stars when young and hot .
Yellow stars when middle-aged
Red stars at the eldery age, dying .

Each star is like a human being,
Going through the creation-destruction process .
Death of a star gives birth to a new one .
A mingling between the end and the start .
This revolving cycle seems to repeat forever .
Unlimited .

In the journey of  so-called life,
At times, slow,
At times, fast
We are riding the same train of life .
Some get on; some get off;
Some first; some later .

But eventually everybody will reach
The destination of fate .
Our bodies of water, carbon, iron, nucleic acids
Will decay,
And disappear in the world of sand and dust .
Coming from Emptiness, we go back to Emptiness .
Itís the law of Nature, indeed!

A thousand years later,
Who will know we have once been here?
With laughter and tears,
Our destiny train keeps moving forward .

For every moment passes by,
We will never have it back .
We therefore have to treasure
Every minute, every second .
They are so precious!
So wonderful!

Letís live  fully a life,
With compassion, peace, love, songs,
Sunlight, wind, birds, flowers,
Clouds, lakes, rivers .
Together we start the orchestra to
Celebrate life .
Yours, mine, the life of all creatures .
Big or small .
We all are subsets of the wholeness .

Letís wish the best for each other .
Letís share joy and happiness with others .
Letís bring down the temporal barriers
Of wealth and fame,
Of hatred and power .
Letís live as free human beings,
In this impermanent world .

Be mindful, relaxed and free .
Every morning begins a new day .
A fresh journey
To start .

Lake Demontreville April 2000
Binh An Tran

* vital energy (Taoism)


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