As I await the bell, a flood of emotion and

Excitement fills me.


The potential for connection is just ahead,

Each moment a possibility for fulfillment.


Hours feel like minutes in the predawn darkness and

Black widows look down on me like all knowing eyes.


Buddha’s face, illuminated by candle flame,

Comes to life, filling the room with his essence.


At 5:30, a procession of sleepy souls makes its way

Up the creaky stairs and each takes its place in rows of blue.


There are yawns from the now familiar faces and heads of tussled hair

As we each fade slowly into ourselves and become one in silence.


The next few hours are punctuated by a creaking floor, the shuffles of re- positioning bodies, and hungry pre-breakfast tummy growls.


We all appear to be different people on the outside but inside

Our humaneness enables us to share a singular mindset and a connected purpose.


When the sitting and silence is done, we will move back into our individual lives richer for the people we have met and the silence we have shared.