It was a wonderfully temperate morning so I dragged this old hermit's body outside for a walk. I took the Prarie Path out beyond my own woods, field and the pond nearby down toward the Fox River, recently flooded. The breeze was just enough to cool my perspiration as I walked, (at a prettry good pace for a old cogger) and reached the riverbanks. The Village has somewhat tamed the riverbank with asphalt walking paths, picnic tables and mown grass; but there are still the many water birds along the way, and much "goose-poop" on the path.
I turned out toward one side of the island I found myself on and sat on a bench which faced the left fork of the river. The earth beneath my feet was still a bit soggy from the recent flood stage of the river. I figured I'd spend some time in Zazen. Soon after I sat down I recalled Taigu's talk from yesteday about the moon reflected in a dew drop. I was already gazing out at the water as it slowly moved past me. I could not see the true reflection of the moon since it was morning, but neither could I see the sun's reflection on the water. The trees and plants of the other shore were there, but the breezes moving up and down the river rippled the surface of the water so that they were more like Monet paintings that actual reflections. I said to myself, "Well there goes the Moon's reflection"; and I chuckled to myself. Then I silently watched the water moving by, sometimes carrying a bit of wood, a feather, a leaf; sometime the breeze was just a breathe pleasantly swirling the water, sometimes series of gusts creating ripples like fish scales. The river moved by me, on it's way. I saw myself in the river unaffected by the seer on the shore, but just moving, never concerned by what I may have missed back there, but feeling happy to just float, sometimes quickly, sometimes very slowly in my spot, but never in the same place; but wet and dry, warm and cool, moving somewhere I know not and happily bobbing along.
Then I saw myself on the shore, ever still as the river moved; always the same river and yet never the same river. Things came along into view and moved away out of view. That stretch of river was bounded in my view but it seemed to me that the whole river was still there ever changing and always the same. Ah, there you are old man!!!