crunch — crunch — crunch as ice slowly gives way under each footstep. at 4:30 am the air is very still, in the dark evening sky the moon shines brightly faintly illuminating this rustic and rural landscape. dancing against the black backdrop are the last glimmers of starlight which will fade into the impending dawn. there is a strange longing in me to stay in this place. this place of solitude and comfort. but I must return to that place where my responsibility lies. bare tree limbs extend up towards the heavens, outlined against the approaching dawn. they look like sentinels patiently awaiting spring’s return, when they can once again give shade and shelter to the inhabitants of this land. a slight breeze chills my ears and nose. good-bye once again hong poep won may all the people who come to this place find the same peace I have found this morning.
March 10, 1996 Providence Zen Center, RI