|Concord Peace Vigil|
Concord peace vigil
Every Friday, 8:00 to 9:00 AM (on winter Hiatus until March 29, 2019)
Monument square, concord Massachusetts
(Concord center, small rotary)
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
November 16-22, 2018
Shoveling Snow with Buddha
by Billy Collins
In the usual iconography of the temple or the local Wok
you would never see him doing such a thing,
tossing the dry snow over the mountain
of his bare, round shoulder,
his hair tied in a knot,
a model of concentration.
Sitting is more his speed, if that is the word
for what he does, or does not do.
Even the season is wrong for him.
In all his manifestations, is it not warm and slightly humid?
Is this not implied by his serene expression,
that smile so wide it wraps itself around the waist of the universe?
But here we are, working our way down the driveway,
one shovelful at a time.
We toss the light powder into the clear air.
We feel the cold mist on our faces.
And with every heave we disappear
and become lost to each other
in these sudden clouds of our own making,
these fountain-bursts of snow.
This is so much better than a sermon in church,
I say out loud, but Buddha keeps on shoveling.
This is the true religion, the religion of snow,
and sunlight and winter geese barking in the sky,
I say, but he is too busy to hear me.
He has thrown himself into shoveling snow
as if it were the purpose of existence
as if the sign of a perfect life were a clear driveway
you could back the car down easily
and drive off into the vanities of the world
with a broken heater fan and a song on the radio.
All morning long we work side by side,
me with my commentary
and he inside the generous pocket of his silence,
until the hour is nearly noon
and the snow is piled high all around us;
then, I hear him speak.
After this, he asks,
can we go inside and play cards?
Certainly, I reply, and I will heat some milk
and bring cups of hot chocolate to the table
while you shuffle the deck,
and our boots stand dripping by the door.
Aaah, says the Buddha, lifting his eyes
and leaning for a moment on his shovel
before he drives the thin blade again
deep into the glittering white snow.
(Although the Vigil is now on winter hiatus, we will continue to inspire our walkers and supporters with a weekly thought. Anyone who wishes to contribute a thought, may email it to: email@example.com )
Concord Peace Vigil Suspended for Winter
Since 1991, members of the Concord Peace Vigil have held a banner and walked in Monument Square around the flagpole. The banner says “We walk with all who suffer because of war.” We met one Friday a month from 8 to 9 am over the years 1991 through 2001. After the start of the US Government war in Afghanistan in late 2001, Vigil members decided to meet every week, weather permitting, still on Fridays from 8 to 9 am, and have continued to the present time. We are not a club and welcome any who wish to join us, even for a short time. We appreciate the positive messages many of you have signaled as you drive by.
Due to our small numbers and aging personnel, we have decided to suspend our vigil during the late autumn and winter months. The last vigil in 2018 will occur on November 16. We expect to resume on March 29, 2019.