The Young Leaf & the Beginner’s Mind

Spring from Poets'Pavilion

Momiji Grove in Spring

When we were learner drivers we could not wait to have the big red ‘L’ removed from our vehicles. We knew what other drivers said when they saw them. The peanut gallery commentary ran the gamut from making fun of the gear grinding, bunny hopping and unexpected stalls to complaints, criticisms and insults. Looking back, grown up motorists seemed to be impatient that we had not emerged Athena-like, fully competent, from the head of Zeus, that Great Master of All. Did we not know better? Had we not been in cars and on roads all our lives? (Well, er, yes, and that is how we knew what the general feelings towards that Big Fat ‘L’ were . . .) You will understand then how little we wanted to dally in learning limbo adorned with the scarlet letter. How different things are here. The sign of an inexperienced driver is a young leaf. It indicates that an apprenticeship is underway; that skills are in development. Anyone not feeling too confident behind the wheel can make use of the sign of the young leaf. Ideally, (and in my experience,) fellow motorists will exercise due caution and care.

Wakaba_mark(May it be so with this blog experiment, too.)


Another season of young leaves is upon us. Spring, new moon, beginners’ mind. Each delicate, fragile, and promising.

Labyrinth at Chatres        A tenderness of heart and mind is helpful when new life begins to unfurl. We stand at a threshold, as if at the opening of a labyrinth (Catherine of Siena x Jan Richardson: trust me, a rich and beautiful partnering.) As life spirals, each of us turns in and out of the fold, quickened, yet perhaps slow at first.

Step by step we find a new part of an old journey is underway.

  —— Images: spring momiji by OK; wakaba (cc) and Chartres Labyrinth design by Steve Snodgrass