The Campanile

One of the gifts of living in Berkeley is the bell tower on the university campus. It rings hourly and on quiet days can be heard throughout the town. While preparing a salad for lunch one day, I was listening to the news on the radio, thus not fully appreciating the miracle of lettuce in my hands. It was noon and suddenly the bell sounded, turning into the voice of the Buddha.

Sometimes I hear the bell, and want to continue with my activity. But I cannot ignore the voice of the Buddha. When I listen to that great, compassionate sound, echoing, touching everyone within its reach, I simply must stop to breathe, and yes, smile, too.

Carole Melkonian Berkeley, California