Night. A waxing half-moon over the Sacramento Valley. 2 AM, nearly moonset. Somewhere close by, a great-horned owl announces its territory. Perhaps it is declaring its life, its joy, as in, “I’m here. I’m alive.” At my desk by the open window, I wait a moment, and the owl calls again. “I’m here, too, my friend.” I say it aloud in the dark room, but the words only fall to the floor and lay there like frightened puppies.
To the east of my house, across the street, a stand of pines are lined up as if for a parade. They are all between fifty and seventy feet high. Two hours past dawn the sun is directly behind the pines, about halfway between the ground and the treetops. The golden light filters through the green branches the way that love might filter through a person’s life; beautiful and bright, yet you can look directly at it. The golden light of morning through the trees that are always green.
The affairs of the world will go on forever. Do not delay the practice of meditation.