Sit next to me, the turtle told me. Allow the sunlight to nestle in your skin.
Next to the turtle and my feet on the water I chattered,
she was quiet and immobile.
The lotus doesn’t blossom until the peak of summer.
I was hoping to watch it in full bloom.
The turtle smiled. A green spring child she called me,
impatient for the full bloom,
ignorant of the lotus seed
swamped beneath the dirt
in the peace that so calmly embraces it,
before the trial of learning
how to bloom.
(Ryoan-ji Temple, Kyoto, Japan)