As I was walking to and from the bus today while running a few errands, I saw and navigated lots of mud puddles from yesterday's mondo rain-o. All the puddles made me think of one of my very favorite Zen parables, and in remembering that parable, I realized that I have been dealing with this very topic a lot the past few months. But by "dealing with it," I'm happy to say that that infers more success than failure. For some reason, things are easier to let go of now. Don't know if it's my practice or just my age. Either way, it's just one more thing to be grateful for.

One day two traveling monks reached a town and saw a young noblewoman waiting to step out of her sedan chair. There were deep, muddy puddles and she couldn’t step across without getting mud on her silk robes. She impatiently scolded her attendants, who were burdened with heavy packages.

The younger monk walked by the young woman without speaking. But the older monk stopped and picked her up on his back, carrying her across the mud. Not only did she not thank the monk, she shoved him out of her way when he put her down and scurried by him haughtily.

As the two monks continued on their way, the younger monk was brooding. After a long time, he finally spoke out. “That woman was so rude but you picked her up and carried her! She didn’t even thank you.”

“I set the woman down hours ago,” the older monk responded. “Why are you still carrying her?”