We had recently come from the animistic country of Japan where everything is alive. A child on a train carefully takes off her shoes before standing on the seat. She arranges her shoes knowing how they like to stay together rather than achi-kochi. All gardeners know the spirit of a sick tree can be moved with some coaxing to a healthy tree before the tree is cut down. Throughout the country not one grain of rice left is ever left unfinished in a bowl of rice. Just as Rumi knocks the chickpea back into the soup pot to continue the alchemic cooking for which we have all signed-up.
One night walking with my young daughter on a country road a white owl silently streaked across our path. All else fell away in the soundless gust across our stunned faces. We were dumbfounded by the abrupt wingspan as wide as the road. This mother converses with an owl eliciting a wind like a school of fish. Mothers do things beyond a children’s understanding. The child is absorbed by a cat, who has his cat-business to attend. Life of the sock carried by a cat, the package under the child’s arm and the owl. How different the world when everything in it is alive and available for conversation.