“The birds were flying around him this morning, as he walked by the river to the coffee shop. Gliding white birds and the subtle flow and drizzle of the water. One of his favorite memories from the mountains was a small river falling off a steep cliff, and the water drops dancing downwards in free fall, with random movements and creating a whole little contained spectacle. It was a beautiful little spectacle of nature, and mostly unseen and not related to anything. Just water falling, drops spreading, mostly reaching the ground deep below, and some evaporating into thin air. “
“On one corner in the village this morning stood a coffee shop man looking over his little square with little tables, talking with a big voice and glowing brown eyes, greeting the people passing by and serving the usual coffee, snacks or the occasional little meal to the local people starting their days in engaged chats over life, politics, personal relationships or fun stories from the day before. The coffee shop man had been watching over this square for a couple of decades, while his belly growing a bit bigger, the voice a bit deeper, the hair a bit thinner but still shining black, and caring for the refined culture of positive values and compassion in his little kingdom.”
“When the tip of the brush touched the canvas it happened again. The world around him disappeared, and the tiny little point, and then a little line, with a certain little curve to it, became all there was, magnified by tenfolds in size and intensity, and carving out a broad strip of red in his mind as well. Then the other colors started to appear and dance around in his imagination, in a big space filled with whirling images in the edges, and a joyful emotion of change, and of presence. He kept going and soon the whole canvas was filled with a calm surface of colors, and with a clear expression of joy, relief, optimism and happiness. “
“He calmly looked at the trees and the flowers around him, and took a deep sigh. The village was still flashing in the back of his mind, drifting further and further away, but then coming back again with images of the square, the river, the little ducks, and the streets. And a wave of different emotions for the little everyday habits, like closing the door to the house, turning a corner on the street, seeing a square opening up before him, or the little cup of tea in the evenings. It was so close to him at times, so vivid and alive, so full of joy and light and inspiration for him. It was a time of great change, and of peace and stability, and of new forms of joy and happiness entering into his life, giving new perspectives on life and people, and on everything before and after those years. It was like a beaming little oasis of beauty in his mind, and a permanent source of new energy and sweet memories. It had changed him, and his future, forever.”
“He loved being at home and listening to the rain with a cup of tea, sensing the fresh air that was soon to fill the streets, and the calm and nuanced mood that entered his mind. It was a little break, almost like a short little sleep, and it always felt wonderful afterwards. As more things were happening around him at once, there was less time or space to see the different elements that were slowly evolving in him, but he felt good and was just letting the falling raindrops fill his mind and be everything for a few moments. The whole mind just as falling raindrops and little splashes as each drop reached the ground and exploded in thousands of tiny bits of water, in slow motion rupturing the thin surface of the drop as the bulging middle tore it open and silently threw the thousands of bits in all directions in an instant before a little delay, and then the soft sound of a splash, right afterwards. And then hundreds of new splashes all at once. A torrent. He loved the rain.”
“He heard the voices of his friends, closed his eyes, and took a first little sip of the coffee. The sun was warming in his face, and on his arms too. The sweet background of people chatting and little sounds of a spoon touching a saucer, feeling the sun, relaxing in the whole body, he loved these little moments of pure bliss and happiness. The mind was slowly swirling with long gone memories of beautiful views of coast lines in boiling heat, the water sparkling and shimmering, and with flowers in red and white in the foreground, and the feelings of emancipation and freedoms… or from the summer days of youth, on a little pier, in the early morning hours with the sea as a smooth mirror surface of blue skies and little droplets of sun, closing his eyes and loving to be alive.”
“Once he met a man on a little boat in Vietnam, a smiling man in his fifties, quietly helping with the equipment and assisting the crew with the day trip for tourists. As the talks drifted away from sunny days in the sea to other and bigger topics, and his family life, his eyes deepened as he talked about losing three of his sons in the war, and having supported the wrong side, and the decades of hardships and pain that had followed. After those words there was just quietness for a long time.”
“After some hours of rain the twilight fell, and the deep blue blended with the little beautiful street lights outside. He thought of the last few weeks, and then felt how his heart was beating. There was a little voice, and a little smile, that was always with him now. Even when he was not seeing it or thinking about it, it was always there, in him.”
“On another corner was standing the flower shop lady. She had the most wonderful smile and sparkling eyes, although with some hidden sadness at times, but always helpful and engaging in her recommendations and putting together wonderful collections of nice and colorful flowers. The shop spread out onto the streets with the sunshine in the morning, with just a little contraction of the flower stand for lunch and a little break, and then spreading out again in the afternoon, a little bit more careful but still lighting up the street and bringing joy to the people passing by.”
“More rays of sunshine were filling the flower bed now, and the marvel and wealth of colors amazed him. It vaguely reminded him of a diving trip once, on a beautiful sunny day of warm waters, endless blue skies and clear and sparkling fresh sea, wast blue oceans, and then right beneath the surface, an intensity and spectacle of thousands of swimming fish, a sea floor filled with sea stars and other sea animals in delightful and vital spectrums of colors he had never seen before. “
In the middle of the book – the main character starts to change.
At the end of that evening he felt like something had changed in him. He had held the book carefully for a long time, enjoyed the tea slowly, and the warm soft light had been absorbed into him for a few hours, leaving him mildly beaming with a calm sensation of glow and a fluid landscape of thoughts. After a while with the book he had learned to follow the rhythm of shifts from beautiful visual scenes to long and intricate reflections about people, life and of thinking in itself. And he had learned to slow down, read every word more carefully, sometimes starting over at the beginning, and giving himself time to fully grasp the full sentence and all the details, and letting them sink in and through a slow transition become his own.
Full chapter here!
As he looked up some tiny rays of sunshine were cutting through the clouds and putting a sweet glow on the soft surface of a pink flower. He loved this part of the park, a modest little walking path with carefully tended flowers on each side. It had a nice effect of calm and peace, and he walked through it from time to time, always thinking that he should do it more often, and often surprised and reminded by the effortless beauty of some careful ornaments of nature.