The Old Man and the Sea

Into the fog
Into the fog

“Fish,” he said, “I love you and respect you very much. But I will kill you dead before this day ends.” Santiago, The Old Man and the Sea

Note: This man is not really old relatively speaking, and the sea is actually the Susquehanna River, but he seemed pretty determined to go fishing in such a dense fog. No guts no fish to gut I guess.

Pennies from Heaven

Pennies from Heaven
Pennies from Heaven

I was walking down the street and saw this man slowly picking up what looked like a pile of loose change near the curb. Turns out it was some cement covered pennies that ended up in the street somehow and he was thrilled to find them.

He seemed to be struggling so I asked if I could help. We finally got them all and he posed for a quick photo looking fairly happy I think, it was kind of hard to tell. I didn’t tell him that he’d need a grinder and a few hours of work before anyone would take them but I figured why ruin his day.

Find a penny, pick it up and all the day you’ll have good luck. I hope that turns out to be true for him.

Success
Success

From the Withered Tree

The Withered Tree
The Withered Tree

The Buddha (allegedly) said: “From a withered tree, a flower blooms.” But what exactly does that mean? The best explanation I could find is on a site called Zen Dirt. This is from a post called From the Withered Tree:

“In Zen quotes and sayings, we have many reminders of the impermanence of everything. Life, as all things in the universe, exists in cycles and nothing is permanent. Being mindful of non-duality however, means that all things never cease to exist either. From a withered, old, lifeless tree, a new flower blooms, a new life grows. This reminds us of the cycle of life, of how we are all related, elder and young, old and new, and how we are all of the same being.

This quote also speaks of how beauty, new life, and new thoughts can blossom from an otherwise old, lifeless, withered tree. Just because a tree is shrunken and has been around a long time, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have the capacity to flower new life from it.

We can interpret this several ways. We can see this as a message that no matter what stage we are at in life, we can always start fresh. It’s never too late to let our lives blossom into a beautiful new flower. There is no such thing as “it’s too late now.”

As we all exist in cycles, we should not underestimate the profound effect of changing our lives and relationships with others. Even at a late stage in life we can positively affect our attitudes and the perspectives of those around us. This can ripple out and create positive energy around the world, or at the very least, the lives of the ones around us.

Another way to see it is simple. We were all young flowers, growing from the fruits of our parents, and we will all grow old, into a withered tree. Flowers may bloom from us, or they may not. This is not just children, the flowers are also seeds of happiness we plant in the hearts and minds of others.”

Zen Dirt-Fill your mind with emptiness