We left before any glimpse of a daffodil sunrise,
meandering off to the bay on the wisp of a dare
The vessel reeked of years at sea, but we boarded,
kept company with philistines and fishing rods,
sights set on a sun-sparked lime-green ocean where
the contents of our untrained stomachs made chum
The boat splashed its way, cold christening us with
salt water spray; feckless, we spun our reels, chance
landing four fat salmon, legal limit, beginner’s luck
The worldly beginner’s luck may be a rare thing but it does happen and it is often worth memorializing in family stories, poetry, or even in blog posts, sometimes if only for the humor of the occasion. I certainly take joy in the day depicted in Fishing Trip (above). Part of my joy is the memory of my husband, who died some years ago, and of my son who was still quite young and still living at home. Those were the good old days. These are the good new days. All is in flux. Everything changes.
I find if I come to each day in the spirit of Shoshin, which is a Buddhist concept meaning "beginner's mind," an attitude of openness, eagerness and lack of preconceptions, my heart is light and a world of possibilities opens to me. The Zen Buddhist teacher, Shunryu Suzuki (Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind), reminds us that in the expert mind (v. beginner's mind) there are few possibilities. Beginner's mind is a prescription that ensures joy and a spirit of adventure. With beginner's mind we stay in love with life. We retain our joy. Beginner's Mind is a great prescription for whatever ails and this is one prescription we don't need a doctor to write. It won't deplete our bank account. There are no untoward side-effects.