Walking through clouds descended like a lush wet blanket Impermanence hangs heavy in the saturated air. Trails and lanes climb over hills through the neighborhoods of Hue Past homes, gardens, lush undergrowth, bamboo, tall pine trees, Neighborhoods where graves and tombs sit serenely on the hills, next to homes, in rice paddies, Some cared for, some abandoned or forgotten. Our ancestors are everywhere. At Tu Hieu we walked and sat amidst the tombs, Contemplated hundreds of graves And achieved a oneness with these spiritual ancestors I had never dreamed of. Interbeing settles on me like the mist falling on my clothes And penetrates into my very bones. Now I know I will bring this penetration with me To my land of disposable people, broken families, life extending pills and potions, plastic surgery. A place where I didn’t think too much about my ancestors Yet in Hue they are in my mind daily. So in the hot dry desert air where I live I can see clearly our responsibility to those who have departed And I celebrate our global community of ancestors And the peace and compassion of interbeing.
David Percival, True Wonderful Roots, lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.