The clouds well up over the foothills casting a gray pall, bearing the angry spirits of the chindi who dance amid the scrub juniper. Brother Serra, was this what you found, wandering along the coast, tending the odd sheep, Indian and whatever else crossed your path?
The blue bird hopping across the dried grasses puffing its grey breastplate and cape sitting back, its long tail feathers a perfect counterbalance. It stares at the oppressing clouds and senses the impending rain. The horses wandering the hill pausing to graze on the sparse green grasses. The roan mare stares at the colt dashing among the trees then returns to her meal, awaiting the onset of evening.
The chindi await the fall of night when they are free to roam and steal other souls. Was your water rite more powerful than the blessing chants? Did you ward off their evil and purify the breeze of the mountains?
He liked nothing better then to sit outside his small cottage and stare into the pond once the blaze on the water set by the sun was consumed as fire must always be by water. As night deepened, he stared into the sky, seeing the moon slowly rise, chasing along the sun’s now deserted path. He knew the myriad of stars shared his interest, staring but he abandoned the sky as the sun had yet again, and watched as the voracious pond slowly consumed the ever fewer stars, and saw the pond’s moon take up its liquid dance to the tune of the night breeze
There are those occasional moments of clarity that appear without warning and are, as quickly, gone. We expect them less as we age and they oblige us by staying away. Children assume them, and are rarely surprised, as though they see them coming, need no warning and have no expectation anything will come of them. Expectations grow proportionally with age and patience diminishes apace. The child understands all of this with the same fascination she has for a soap bubble, as she watches each float away on the breeze of time.
Settling into perfect stillness, each of us in our brown robes on brown chairs, benches cushions, note his entry is somewhere between the thundering of a forgotten storm or the garbage trucks crawling slowly down the street. His gray-blue shirt and jeans flash by. He is large in every dimension, even his breathing nice and even is large, but regular. No breeze, only a large moth comes through the open windows and dances around the rice paper light shades. The incense hangs over the burner on the altar waiting to be carried into the room. You return to thoughts of thoughtlessness invite ideas to come and quickly leave. You grow heavy sinking into the earth your weight and his equally heavy. The moth grows bored and slips out the window.
There is something gentle about her, a softness, as though she arrived on a gentle breeze, was present before you felt her on the back of your neck, a smile that cast your shadow on the snowy walk. She was often like this, as though knowing she might be an antidote to the harshness of winter, and the losses that piled up as time eroded our lives. We were never sure of what we should say, and so often opted for silence, but she seem to welcome that too, as though it marked a change from something we would never fully understand. We never knew when we might see her, auburn coat dappled by the sun but we welcomed the doe, and she us, and that was always sufficient.