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One Day

In my kitchen while preparing supper, my four-year-old daughter draws at the table, concentrating on the world she makes. Looking down, she asks, "Why is there just one day for everyday?"

The microwave beeps. I don't answer her. Instead, I'm transported to a Tibetan temple where monks perform a Sand Mandala around my feet. Contrasting sketched colors shaped in a circle outside square walls, waves and undertow, spires upon columns, I can no longer tell what "upside down" means. The monks pay me no attention. My feet immobile, I wonder about day's end when the Mandala is destroyed if I'll join it my skin drying into sand that sprinkles flat on the floor.

I wait a long time but instead of falling, the Mandala raises its flat geometry into rooms and furniture. I can no longer see the monks but don't feel alone.

I blink.

I see my daughter sitting at the table. Now looking up, her ponytail is coming undone. She looks at me and past me unfocused eyes, green waters of sea fronds. She's talking but I can't hear her words.

I blink again.

As I feared, the Mandala avalanches below me. I'm pulled with it as it scatters into granules. Each grain demands why.

I blink a final time.

"Daddy," my daughter says to me, "Are you making good choices?" She pauses to fill in a corner of her drawing. "My teacher tells Donny each day at snack he needs to make good choices." She looks down and continues her drawing, unfazed.

My stomach growls, and I find myself saying, "Sometimes, I do."

Story by:

Richard Bower

www.cayuga-cc.edu/blogs/bower

13 July 2013