I believe in miracles. Sort of. I can’t manage to give much
credence to most of what is claimed for miracles. I suppose that somewhere,
somewhen, there could be or could have been some great magician who could make
things levitate, pull gold out of the air, cure terminal cancer and predict
next week’s lottery numbers. But I don’t expect to meet her.
What, however, I can envision is that, out of the
innumerable ways things could fall out, the reason they fall out *this* way is
not as blindly mechanical as the mechanists would have us believe.
Like the feather that fell into my hands just as I was receiving the
lung for the Yuthog Nyingtig preliminaries, for which there was a
convoluted, “normal” explanation, I today received a dry, falling oak
It has been a beautiful winter’s morning: cold but not
bitter, dry, quiet, with clear blue skies and a bright, low sun. I went for a
walk up the hill. Not far from the top I sat down on a sun-warmed stone, as I
have been memorising a few lines of chant. I want to be able to recite the
lines at a good speed, without great effort, and with clear focus on the
meaning. That’s a fairly normal procedure in Buddhist practice. Having got far
enough that I don’t need to read these particular lines off paper, my idea was
to recite them a few times just to get more familiar.
So far, so good.
I didn’t notice any wind, but there must have been a stirring in the air above the ground, because exactly as I completed the lines for the first time, there was a loud rustling behind me as one of the oak trees decided that the moment had arrived to shed a few hundred leaves. The one above came into my hands on its way down.
So, ok, I was amongst hundreds of trees on a dry winter
morning. They were likely to shed leaves anyway. Thousands, if not millions,
must have fallen in those woods this morning. But at that moment? This leaf? In
It would have happened anyway. But it didn’t have to. I’ll
take it as an auspicious coincidence.