Thoughts, Like Turtles

Silent retreat day. I’ve been meditating for three hours. Sitting on my cushion, as still as deep water, as thoughts rise to the surface, recede, and rise again.

When we break for lunch, I move away from the group to sit silently and eat mindfully. I think I’d like to go out and take a walk.

It’s warm. And the sky is gray. But not dark gray. It’s a light bluish gray. I can feel the sun trying to peak through. It’s not hot, but the air is humid and close to my skin. There is a heavy scent of lilac hanging just in front of me. My nose cuts through it as I walk.

I look out onto the pond. There is a fountain in the center that keeps it circulating. An agitator. The sound of water hitting water is loud, but pleasant, as it nearly blocks out the sound of traffic on the nearby highway. But it doesn’t drown out the tinny ringing song of the ice cream truck. Turkey in the Straw on repeat.

I stop to stand on the bridge, and I catch a glimpse of a giant turtle. Huge. Impressive. But just for a second. So I stay still, leaning over and resting my arms on the wooden rail. Waiting there for him to resurface. Waiting for him to return. Hoping to see him again. Wanting another glimpse. But no. He’s nowhere to be seen, diving deep.

So I walk on. Returning to my cushion. To sit again in stillness. To see what else will arise.


The earworm that won’t go away Turkey in the Straw

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