Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Meditation on Ice

I shrug on my coat, strap on my tennis shoes, and fasten on a furry cap. I step out into the golden afternoon and the wind pinches my cheeks.

I wander out past the town streets towards the creek. Patchwork snow drapes the forest floor. My feet squish in the muddy path. The sun is melting the ice and snow as spring slowly creeps in on the land.

I walk past a tiny little pond. At the center floats a sheet of ice with lacy edges.

Why is it that we humans feel the need to pop bubble wrap, make sleeping animals move, or yes, crack ice? We can't just let it all BE?

I remember a story I recently heard about how the saint Srila Prabhupad used to smash icy puddles with his cane. Finally, someone asked him why he did this. "The hearts of people in the west are like ice," he replied, "and I have come to smash this ice."

I look around for a rock, a stick, something. With a little shout, I throw the stick at the delicate-looking sheet of ice. It makes a tiny hole and a little water seeps in around the edges.

Hmph. I scout for another stick and hurl it with all my might at the ice. It skitters across the surface and slides into the water on the other edge.

I set my mouth. This is ON. This big sheet of ice has become my heart. And the ice needs cracking. Sinking.

Stick after stick, each one flies away across the surface. Not such a lacy piece of ice after all. This thing is thick. Deep.

I pick up a branch and circle around to a piece of shore closest to the ice sheet. I kneel over and whack at the ice. Some breaks off. I lean over further, and with all my might I whack the surface.

Ice water splashes my entire face and glasses, my hands, my coat. My mouth drops open in shock. I begin to giggle, then laugh and laugh.

I'll leave the heart-ice breaking to Prabhupad.

I wipe off my glasses and toss the stick into the little pond.

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