Sunday, 5 September 2010


Wrapped up against the cold I sit under the tiled roof that extends from the house, looking into the garden. My attention is focused on the broken wall of water that streams down, uncaught by a gutter. The rain falls in drops beyond it. There is a sense of peace, listening to the trickle and spatter, watching the darkness fall. A servant comes out with a steaming kettle to re-fill my teapot. I ignore her. I am aware of her presence but it is of no consequence to me. I am trying to focus only on the water.

Water in a stream will wear at a rock for hundreds of years, slowly removing its surface at a speed I cannot measure or observer, but the change is happening. Too often I have been the water, crashing against the rock, wearing myself out, when all I had to do was accept patience and carry on my way. Despite insight, meditation, intellectual reasoning, I cannot change that part of me. So I sit and drink tea, watching the rain and trying to leave both reason and instinct behind, to bind myself in the experience.

The old man tells me it might turn to snow in the night. I do not think it will, but I am minded to wait, and watch. The girl is heading back inside when I turn and ask her to fetch the brazier. If I am to stay here much longer I will need more than an extra layer of clothing and hot tea.

If it does snow I do not wish to miss my opportunity. Still grasping for that chance to split the stone in two and move on.

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