This month I like to relate one of my favorite stories from Thich Nhat Hanh. I will be quoting from his book “The Sun My Heart.” The title is “Thanh Thuy’s Apple Juice.”
Today three children, two girls and a little boy came to the village to play with Thanh Thuy. The four of them ran off to play on the hillside behind our house, and were gone for about an hour. When they returned, they asked for something to drink. I took the last bottle of homemade apple juice, and gave them each a full glass, serving Thuy last. It had some pulp in it. When she noticed the particles, she pouted and refused to drink it. So the four children went back to their games on the hillside, and Thuy had not drunk anything. Half an hour later, while I was meditating in my room, I heard her calling. Thuy wanted to get herself a glass of cold water, but even on her tiptoes she couldn’t reach the faucet. I reminded her of the glass of juice on the table and asked her to drink that first. Turning to look at it, she saw that the pulp had settled and the juice looked clear and delicious. She went to the table and took the glass with both hands. After drinking half of it, she put it down and asked “Is this a different glass, Uncle Monk?”
“No,” I answered, “It the same one as before. It sat quietly for a bit, and now it’s clear and delicious.” Thuy looked at the glass again. “It really is good. Was it meditating like you, Uncle Monk?” I laughed and patted her head, “Let’s say that I imitate the apple juice when I sit; that is close to the truth.”
In times of stress I think of this simple story and it calms me. I hope everybody has a nice holiday.
Thanks for all you do,