Learning From Trees
Late in the day, sitting at roof’s edge,
legs crossed in Guan Yin’s posture of royal ease,
I’m clearing the gutter of autumn’s castoff leaves,
tossing them down to mulch the cedar hedge.
Grateful to be alive through my seventieth fall,
I’m learning from the trees how to let go
of all those things I can no longer do.
I’m tired of clinging, prepared to relinquish it all.
Later, in front of a mirror, I catch a glimpse
of something unexpected: a kindhearted soul
is looking back at me, his face aglow
with the light of the full moon—absolute bliss.
My candle, though under a bushel, still burns bright.
It’s the lantern I carry through the long, lonely night.
Editor’s Note: This sonnet creates a contemplative moment from a chore and reminds the reader that even in autumn there are still lessons to be learned.