The theme song from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon has been floating in my head like a soap bubble today, bouncing off my brain, making me sway like a drunken master, like a warriors silk robe. The trees are shedding their leaves giving the whole landscape a sad but beautiful ambiance.
I loosen my sword in the hilt and tip toe, in my moccasins, over the wet pavement. My robe is clinging to me, water is dripping from my nose and chin and fingertips. I cross into the muddy plains of the park. It is still and silent except for the beat of the falling rain. Dum da-da--da-da Dum Dum. Dum da-da--da-da Dum Dum. The Maple stands between me and the path home. His coat of orange-red leaves has all but disappeared except for near the trunk. The leaves are as smoldering fire against the shadow of soaked branches. He wields the elements, strengthened by the spirit of the season. I approach cautiously with my hand on my sword.
“The way is blocked human!” His voice is like a mighty wind through forests.
“Step aside Demon, I am no human. I am Ramandu, spirit monk--slayer of those things foul and wicked. Be warned.”
He heaves insults and vile laughter at me. His barked skin begins to swirl creating a vortex of energy. From the middle of the energy cloud I see a demon in the form of a faun. He has a pointed beard and pointed ears. “Your powerless against my Will, fool.” he hisses. He dissipates into a moist cloud and disappears leaving behind only evil laughter.
Faster than thought, larger than a man, the mist materializes before me,a cunning trick from the shape-shifting enemy. He strikes. In one move of pure harmony, I unsheathe my katana, lay waste to the forces of darkness and sheathe my sword again. The heavens loosen the clouds and the mud around me beats: Dum da-da--da-da Dum Dum. Light radiates from me as I bow in the mud of the park.
I am Ramandu, the spirit monk. The path is now open.