There’s a small Buddha statue in the front garden of the temple. The Buddha is golden and there is a small cup of water and a pot of flowers on the little raised platform the Buddha sits on.
Two crows live in the tree above the Buddha. They like the water bowl and knock it around pretty good when squabbling over the drinking pecking order, but often they just sit there next to the Buddha and look around. Chillin’.
There are two schools on the next block, so lots of kids walking by and an astounding number of them acknowledge or refer to the statue and sometimes the two dragons over the gate to the back parking area and yard. I like to think that at some point in a future those kids will be grown and having dinner with some friends and they are exchanging stories of the wonders of childhood (then just a dim memory), and one will relate how they loved to walk to school and catch a glimpse of the Buddha and/or the dragons; and how it all felt somewhat magical, mysterious and, somehow, right.
The crows I imagine are just happy to have fresh water offered every day under their tree, yet also sense there is more going on. Just what, though?
These two ways, that seem different, are also ways that we all approach the unknown, the mysterious. That Which Is. We glimpse, we sense, we wonder and we refresh ourselves and grow up and still we know there is more; but what is it?
We had a classic Buddhist ceremony today, the oldest one in Buddhism; and a pot luck lunch in the back yard. I went and picked up an aging and infirm, yet very Bright and Aware elderly Sangha member at his home and had the joy of hearing his spiritual and life reminiscence and we drove to and from his house. An old sick person who was at ease and peace with his deterioration and not too distant death. He was aware and grateful that he had done his best to open his heart and be as honorable as he could manage in his life and that was good enough for him. Sufficiency.
Perhaps as a child he saw some crows playing in a fountain at the feet of St. Francis.