Message from Henry: London

back to the breath… empty core… great space…

Sitting outside my brother and sister in law’s house, in the back garden, facing the brick wall at the back of the house, on the cool paving. Morning. Sunny day, blue sky, a rug of sunshine hanging on the garden wall. The rest of the garden in shade – shade of trees and houses.

In the middle of the sitting, a neighborhood sound wells up. A nearby school has a break, and the voices of children fill a playground, echoing, blending, making a kind of deep choral harmony out of their cries and laughs and echoing chatter.

It reminds me of another sound. It takes me a while, exploring some memories and similes, to land on what it is: a cave by the shore in Crete near where I used to go to teach.

It was a tall deep sea-cave under a rocky cliff. The sea would roll in, go round a rock, and roll out the other side. A horse-shoe cave, with two entrances.

That cave loved the sound of the sea. It would ring with the lappings, plunges, murmurs and roars of the water, roll them round its walls, echoing right up to its roof and back down under the waters, sucking on every lick and slurp of water, gurgling with pleasure, drinking in the sounds. It was a sea-loving cave. A sound-loving cave.

Here it’s something similar: the music of the kids enjoying their school break is like the water-sound in that cave – melodious, harmonic, echoing, resonant. Except it’s not a confined space here, but the whole neighborhood that rings with the young voices. The houses and trees love it. You can feel it. They too drink it in and absorb it, and pass it around, sending it on from hand to hand like a ball-game in a gym. The mighty elm trunks, the high canopies of sycamore, and the tall brick walls, all ring with pleasure, in the bath of sound from the youngsters sloshing around their midst.

Then the kids go back into class, the break is over, and it all goes quiet. The houses and trees listen in to the quiet, feeling rich and fulfilled. The trees give a little cheer in a breeze, a soft, heartfelt applause. The houses sigh. The neighborhood rests now, pleased just to be itself.

Hmmm… Nice… So, back to the breath… empty core… great space…

Message from Henry is from our August 1, 2017 Newsletter
Image: Kew Garden by MonicaVolpin and Marble cave by backpackerin, both are CC.0 Public Domain
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