Clay Tree Bird
One warm late summer afternoon, a potter, sitting beneath a tree in a garden, was preparing to throw a lump of clay onto the wheel in front him. His right foot, bare, swaying gently back and forth measured the resistance of a larger wheel at the base of a vertical axle that would turn another higher, smaller wheel before him. On the bench, beside him lay a damp cloth. The only tools he had or needed were his hands.
The tree was wide and sprawling. The potter liked to work there as he had plenty of room to move around, and the shade protected him from the sun. Sitting there brought back memories of being in the village church as a child only, instead of being enclosed by symbols of death and images suffering, there under the tree, the potter was surrounded with life. The tree was old, and one or two of the lower branches were no longer alive, but the potter would never cut them out because he did not want to disturb anything. Thus, beneath the loosened bark of one of those branches, a host of insects had made their homes. As he contemplated the clay, a fragment of the bark fell onto the wheel. He looked up and saw the bare section of the branch and the insects scrambling about looking for a place to hide. He smiled and turned back to his wheel. He did not think to move because he knew that sitting there, he would not be bothered by falling bark again. There was none left to fall.
His focus returned to the turning wheel. Then, onto it, he threw the lump of clay.