A pale hint of dawn flows just above the Eastern hills. Finishing my tea, I put away pens and notebook, brush my hair, and step into the garden and down the path toward the lanai on the Commons.
First to arrive, I lay my zafu on the smooth cedar deck and take my seat in my favorite spot, front row, middle, where I can feel the sun’s rays on my face and eyes when it crests the hill.
Silently, other villagers make their way to the lanai and take their seats. I relish the sound of each shallow breath, turning deeper and deeper as each finds a spot, sinks to their cushion, and turns their attention to his or her own breath.
Yellow finches twitter and tweet in the honeysuckle and wisteria-clad lattice. The tiny birds flutter up in a rush at the sound of the twins, Kami and June, full of adolescent exuberance, rushing up the path. Giggling, forcing themselves to slow down, they shush one another and tiptoe onto the platform.
Catching Kami’s eye as she lowers her lanky limbs to the bare floor, I wink before closing both mine and taking my first long, wide breath.
I give thanks for the twins, for this day, opening calm and sweet, for each one of the villagers, for a peaceful world, for this most beautiful Earth, for Spirit who helped us all to learn compassion and to grow peace in our hearts.