Sunday, July 1 of this year and just a few days ago I was standing at a bus stop waiting for the No. 8. The sun was still high enough in the sky to render the day bright but a wind had risen to put a chill in the air. The earth was still warm and I became extremely conscious of experiencing a double variable of weather – feeling both the warm and cold simultaneously – something that immediately reminded me of San Fransisco, which is a typical weather state there.
I had sunglasses on because of the still bright glare of the sun and I remember looking across the street framed by tall trees seeing at first what appeared to be dust, backlit by the sun – inexplicably dense – driven by the wind. Then a recognition ‘pollen’, possibly explaining my earlier prolonged coughing fits.
I stood there, forgetting the bus, exalting in the weather; marveling over the contrast in temperatures; the floating pollen giving dimension to the sky.
The cool air was wondrously refreshing and the cold-warm contrast with the land triggered the childhood memory of the thermocline effect of fresh lake water swimming where the surface of the lake was warm but less than a meter below the water was cold. That memory triggered a flood of well-being that washed over me. There I stood, experiencing that pure and delicious Pacific Northwest weather down to my very soul.
And then time stopped. I remember being very conscious of the fact that time either stood still or had in fact ceased to exist. How long that consciousness lasted who could say? For what could have been no more than a blink; there were only the sky, the weather, the landscape, and my supreme wellness.
I was very joyously aware for that all too brief moment – as the sun shown down and the earth radiated heat and the wind blew cold – that I had crossed into a narrow window with a view of eternity.
That was the satori the ancients sought. What many had denied themselves food and comfort for. Sat in cave staring at the wall for.
And fleeting as it was, it was mine.