Lately I have noticed that certain images stick with me. I've always had a good memory, especially for things I see. But it's been a catalog, static pictures that I can thumb through when needed. This is different. This is a gnawing at, a ruminating sort of recall.
I had an encounter with a mouse, while meditating a few weeks ago. I was in my sitting room, focused on my in breath and m out breath. And then I let my focus expand. And saw a mouse, under my radiator. A little soft brown creature. I tried not to move, even more than usual. I didn't want to frighten the mouse, and I wasn't sure what to do. Would it be better to let it sit, or catch it? So I watched, trying to see if it was breathing. So small, lovely really, if you forgot it was a mouse. Five minutes passed like this. Then I carefully got up and went to get my husband. I thought maybe he could capture the mouse and let him go out back. The mouse was dead. It made me rethink how I feel about rodents, about flies, about all the little creatures going about their little lives, doing nothing but what they were made to do, and how we alter their paths for our own purposes. The image of the mouse keeps coming back to me.
The other day, I was in the parking garage, heading home from a less than pleasant work day. It's an ugly cement structure, dirty, dark, very industrial looking. The garage is for employees, and has two floors of parking for patients. I usually move pretty fast, heading toward the third floor. I always take the stairs. I heard a mom yelling, SLOW DOWN, SLOW DOWN, at her child. The
little girl, blond, wearing something pink, was racing toward me in her wheel chair. She was laughing on the way to her doctor's appointment. I don't know if it was the laughter, or the light=up lights on the wheels of her wheelchair. Red, blue and green lights, that created this awesome pattern as she wheeled. It CAUGHT me. "Your lights are really cool!" I called after her as she sped by. I was grinning from ear to ear and it lasted all the way home.
That kid touched my heart. I don't know her. I will never know her. But her laughter, and her lights, stuck.
And somehow, in the strange alchemy of thought and memory, the two images have become related. the mouse, the girl, the soft brown fur and the whirling lights. Silence and laughter.