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Poem: All in a Tangerine

Would you like to take a walk with me in the meadow?
Let's walk to the tangerine tree.
The grass is soft beneath our feet.
The earth smells good.
The sun sparkles on the tangerines.
They hang ripe and plump on the tree
like a hundred little suns.

Would you like to pick a tangerine?
We can have a tangerine party!
We will both pick one.
Choose carefully, and don't forget to ask the tree's permission!
I feel like the tree is smiling, don't you?
Now, gently pluck the tangerine and cradle it in your hand.

Let's sit here beneath the tree.
The sun filters through the cool branches making patterns on the ground.
Hold your tangerine up.
Look deeply, to see things that eyes that look quickly do not see at all.

At night the pale moonlight played among the tangerine branches,
softly brushing against each ripening fruit.
Hold the tangerine up to your cheek.
Can you feel the cool moon singing inside that bright skin,
ready to burst out and be tasted by you?

Do you see the sun in the tangerine?
Streams of warm sunshine pouring down enabled the tree to grow.
Sunlight has transformed into a small, juicy globe,
just the right size to cup in your hands.
As you hold the tangerine, you are holding the sun.

Storm clouds and lazy clouds float in our tangerines.
The raindrops they sent are nestled in each sweet drop of juice.
When we taste a tangerine,
we are drinking thunderstorms and gentle spring showers.

The tangerine tells a tale
about the single seed sprouting in the fertile earth,
earth that was prepared just so by earthworm engineers,
so the seed could stretch, stretch into a tree.

The buzz of the industrious bee,
the butterfly's leisurely sip, and the quiet,
petal-tickling breeze mingled with the blossom that became the fruit

Are you ready to eat the tangerine? Yes!

Oh so carefully, let us peel
the spicy, dimpled skin
to reveal the sweet treasure within.

One by one, enjoy each section
with unhurried, happy bites.
Taste the rain and earth and sun.

Thank you parents, grandparents,
great-grandparents, too,
who passed on the gift of life,
to bring us to this tasty tangerine moment
Eating a tangerine, we celebrate the ancestors!

Ah, that was so good...
Shall we take the small,
hard seeds and plant them in the meadow?
Within each seed's core dwells a tree ready to be born.

Rain will fall, earthworm will plow,
and the seed will crack and fade away, leaving a tiny tree in its place,
which one day may feed other children,
by the light of the tangerine sun.

Mobi Ho
Rebecca Howard
San Antonio, Texas

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What is Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

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