A shard of glass gleaming amongst seedling lettuce:
washed clean by the overnight rain,
glinting now in the early morning sun.
I harvest it carefully and store it
on a ledge of the drystone wall that edges our vegetable garden.
For twenty-four years I’ve been collecting fragments,
extracting them from among the broad beans or potatoes,
two or three every session, an indigestible crop.
An irritation surfaces in my meditating mind:
niggling, sharp enough to cut into whatever equanimity I have,
and leave emotional energy leaking everywhere.
Even after all these years of practice I’m slow to recognise this form,
slow to smile my welcome, slow to embrace with mindfulness and love
this broken bit I buried years ago.
But, if I’m skilful, the irritation, not reburied, held in the open,
may resolve, extraordinarily, into equanimity; glass into onion.
Buried in the past, in the subsoil of our beings,
before rubbish collections, before recycling;
before therapy, before meditation, before love;
churned around for years in the everyday soil of living,
bits of broken sauce bottle, fragments of china cup,
petty humiliations, casual sarcasms,
surfacing now: some sharp, some rubbed smooth,
all so hard, so beautiful, so transformable.