“To follow the way of water is to return to one’s spiritual essence.” — Hua-Ching Ni, The Book of Changes and the Unchanging Truth
“Be!” My grandson commands, so
I look closely with him at a puddle.
Present in this very moment
that stretches beyond time and space,
our hearts connect, pulsating
with this vibrant aliveness.
An insect is floating, and I conclude
it is dead, but he says,
“Bee!” again, and gingerly
fishes it out to rest in his palm.
The water drops off and the bug
stirs, drying its wings from the newfound
land of a toddler’s finger.
We have been talking about gentleness
with living beings, hugging trees.
And now his inquisitive focus
feels the creature step daintily
over his skin, as if showing
gratitude for salvation. I am watching
that wasp-like abdomen as it quivers,
worried that this love-fest
will turn ugly. I teach respect
and yet I vibrate with memories
of wicked inexplicable stings.
He turns his finger and the exploration
continues but when he looks to me
in doubt, I say, “Fly, bee, fly!”
and whisk it off into the air.
We stand here like herons,
our feet in the water, yet rooted
in the earth, our faces lifted to the sky,
celebrating a tiny flight
with exquisite concentration,
and he says again, “Be!”
Soundcloud recording here.