And how could I forget the redolent corner of Rosemary, Catnip, and Greek Oregano (into which she instructed me to pour the old water from the cat's bowl)? The temperature will reach 105F today. But there is no hint of the coming torrent in morning coolness.
On the table sits a small Buddha that she purchased for me. It is neither expensive nor unique, thank goodness--just an ordinary but beautiful half-foot figurine from a Tuesday Morning shop. I saw it in a picture somewhere and smiled. That she remembered that moment is astonishing to me. The Buddha is compact and gilded, with numinous, half-closed eyes. Seekers sit this way in hopes of reaching their own transcendence, not realizing that it is the other way around: You first see or understand that you are Transcendence. Then the eyes are naturally calm. Indeed, mine are now at their most relaxed when half-closed.
I could sit for hours like this, on the blue bench by the brown Buddha. Stillness within stillness. Or, minutes later, movement within Presence--as a Cardinal darts and trills, and a huge cellar spider makes its way to the top of the roof to temper its web. Then the stillness again. For how long I have no idea.
Then she is there, tall and pale inside the half-opened back door. She smiles, as her eyes focus from the depths of dreams. Her Charleston green t-shirt--covering just to the top of her thighs--is too heavy for summer. She sweats in her sleep but is deeply content. With perfect, middle-aged symmetry, she touches the bottom of the door with her sleep-waxened foot, making sure that it is ajar for the cats. But somehow, the door simply stays that way. As do you, dear reader. There isn't even a door. Just Openness. Always and only--Openness.