The Willow Leaf | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

The Willow Leaf

4 April, 2021

(For my English teachers: Rangama (1995-1997), Deepthi Parakrama (1998-2000), Wasantha Subasinghe (2001-2003) of Central College, Kuliyapitiya)

“….Stability itself is nothing but a more languid motion….”
Michel De Montaigne-Of Repentance

With a touch of envy
I survey
the tall wrought iron-gate,
the narrow tarmac
lined with a row of frangipanis
and the immense play-ground
as I cycle by
my Alma-mater.

The uniformed security guards
at the gate
and people in scruffy work clothes
on a tall scaffolding
beavering away at the new building
under construction…
the whole outlandish spectacle
crafted by
the untiring hands of time
leave me longing
for the good old days…

Yet, the frangipanis abloom,
the willow-tops dancing in the wind,
the old stone wall,
mossy at the top
still appear to me,
to withstand the ravages of time,
and console my old soul…

I heave an euphoric sigh of relief
in the discovery of the constants
that satiate my nostalgia
but for a moment.

About the changeless willow tops, now I see something faint Moral principles are like lighthouses. They are natural laws that cannot and should not be broken. As Cecil B. de Mille had observed referring to the principles contained in his monumental film The Ten Commandments, “It is impossible for us to break the law. We can only break ourselves against the law.” If modern man has no respect for natural laws, he is simply going against the Ten Commandments in Christianity and PancaSila in Buddhism.

in the wind,
perhaps, a withered willow-leaf
with force enough
to shatter my sense of stability
more fragile than an eggshell.

I go. I pause.

I succumb to the wisdom of my heart
I succumb to the will of time.

I’m a moment.
I’m the Infinity.

– Jayashantha Jayawardhana