Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sweeping Teak Leaves

When i was on retreat in Thailand last month, the afternoon chore, at 4:00, was "sweeping" leaves. As you can see in the photo, my rake looks more like a broom--a rather thin and ratty old broom, with just a few stalks of hard straw to do the "sweeping."

Our cottages were situated in a grove of young teak trees, which grow straight up quite fast. Teak leaves are larger than rhubarb leaves, and they are the consistency of a brown paper bag. February is the end of the dry season, so the slightest breeze brings more teak leaves drifting (crashing?) down to earth. Every morning, i awoke to find yesterday's clean sweep littered with more brown papery teak leaves.

Needless to say, i didn't look forward to this raking/sweeping chore. I tried picking up the gigunda leaves, but i quickly discovered red fire ants trooping along them, over my toes, and up my leg. I resumed sweeping.

After a few days, i realized that sweeping teak leaves is really what i do all day long in my every day life. I straighten up the living room; next day, same thing. I clean up the kitchen; next day, same thing. I make the bed; next day.....

Teak leaves keep falling in our life. Leaves fall. We sweep them up. They decompose.
Just like our lives.

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