In the evening of the last full day of the retreat Reb came into the zendo after the final round of interviews about 15 min before the signal of the gong, the way he used to do every evening so we could finish the day together and he would say the Thank-you-for-today (Tack för idag!) in Swedish before walking out of the room. It was getting darker and the soft blanket of silence was covering the room. There was a special, bitter-sweet taste to that last sitting and I wondered if others felt that too.
Only a few minutes before the awaited signal of the gong, a soft voice from somewhere in the center of the room started a slow song, gently cutting through the drowsiness, tenderly tapping on the the tiredness, softening the stiffness in the bodies, caressing the air and the vowels, filling in the space, growing:
And the living is easy
Fish are jumping
The cotton is high
Oh your daddy’s rich
Your mama’s good looking
I said hush little baby
Don’t you cry
One of these mornings
You’re bound to rise up singing
Then you’ll spread your wings
And take to the sky
But til that morning
Nothing’s going to harm you no
With daddy and mama standing by
When the strike touched the gong and the sound started its trip around the bowl allowing us to stretch the legs and breath out the tension of the last sitting, warm laughter filled the zendo.
What a perfect ending of the day and of the week! Thank you for the gift, Reb!
May all beings be happy, healthy and free from suffering!