Slowing down, waking up,

standing, breathing.

A heron glides down to the pond

and folds it’s wings.

Silence is a window.

Stillness is a door.

  The heron flaps its wings

 and flies.

I wrote this poem during my first stay in Plum Village in 2001.  After leaving the stone meditation hall at dawn, I joined a row of eight brown-robed sisters standing in a line on the hill above the lotus pond.  A heron appeared as we stood in silence watching the sky turn red and orange and gold.