By 4:00 I wanted to refresh my spirits. I laced up my walking shoes and ambled into town. I had a package and letters to mail, checks to deposit at the bank, and I wanted to visit my favorite book store and tea shop and say hi to Jim. After, I walked the library to borrow some books of Chinese poetry.
All these errands, yet I still hadn't walked even a mile, so I decided to loop home, out to the edge of town, a saunter, for exercise.
At the southern edge of town, I caught my first glimpse of the crescent February Moon higher in the western sky than I thought it would be. Native people of the east would call this the Snow Moon (appropriately enough this year) but here in California, it would be the Robin Moon. Robins are busy around here now.
The moon was a big goofy grin, high in the sky.
Fit friends jogged past saying, 'Hello." Other friends waved as they drove by. One rolled his window down and we exchanged a friendly greeting. I fell in step with a retired couple walking their Tibetan Terrier who looked very much like our family dog, Champ, my dear dog friend, now gone. Another friend walking her new dog stopped for a chat.
I walked and talked for an hour.
I was looking forward to going out to dinner with my wife, the Mayor, in the company of two dozen town officials and community leaders at our local sea food restaurant. It would be a warm early spring evening full of conviviality and animated conversation over local fish and local wine.
When I got home, I opened one of the treasures I had brought home from the library. In an anthology titled A Drifting Boat, Chinese Zen Poetry, I found this poem written by Kuan Hsiu 1,100 years ago.
Spending the Night in a Little Village
Hard traveling, and then
a little village, for the night:
a year of plenty, chickens, dogs,
it's raucous as a market town.
Come out to meet a stranger in the dusk:
whole families laughing happy:
beneath the moon,
seining up fish from the pool.