The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Kicking Off From Center Field: This Morning In The Garden

Tea in the Garden this morning! Why am I capitalizing Garden? I can't help myself, it seems extraordinarily beautiful and peaceful, worthy of a capitol "G". But it's also just a garden....there are over 150 different plants in D's garden, and I can't begin to say how many hours he has devoted to their care.

Last week, during our tornado (yes, it was confirmed), I was huddled down cellar with the kittens while he was standing under the backdoor porch making sure nothing destroyed his paradise. I could hear hail on the windows, and even though I kept calling, he wasn't going to bundge....well, okay, he DID come indoors, but he still refused to join us in the cellar.
Later, when we surveyed the miniscule damage (sooo fortunate), I asked him at what point he would have headed down to the cellar, and he said, "Oh I guess when I heard the freight train sound."
When I told him I heard the freight train sound, he just said, "You did?"
Aside from a few holes in large leafed plants caused by the hail, we had no damage. A block away, many trees lost huge limbs and several split in two. For days all we heard was the whine of chain saws and that intense wood chipper machine. Lucky!
Tizzy, the black cat, spends most of her time now in the garden, and these days, right next to the chipmunk hole. She's seen "Chip" run about and dart down the hole, so now she considers it her job to make sure if he re-appears, she'll let him know who's boss. Meanwhile, Chip uses the top of the fence like a subway tube, gets him anywhere he needs to go, and she never sees him come and go.
Chip posted a sign a few weeks ago. It reads: No Kitties Allowed, Bad Kitty, Go Away!

The rose arbor in the background is where the cardinals have their nest. Even as new rose buds open, those from the previous days drop, one pale petal at a time.

I spend every morning out here now, usually before the neighborhood has gotten noisy, and all I hear is bird song.
This is also a nice spot for Kinhin. Walking meditation is tough with a collie, because he doesn't quite understand the concept of yes, walking slowly, but still walking. He tries to herd me off the path, or just stops in front of me as a foot comes down. Like moving through a wave of fur, if I just continue moving forward, he simply yields and sticks to me like a shadow.

I noticed today that the cat birds probably have a nest very close by. They spend the morning silently playing stealth games, tag, hide and seek. Soon their favorite food will be ripe, the berries on the Serviceberry tree. The fruit of the Serviceberry is irresistable to song birds, and they'll dive like acrobats to reach the berries on the tips of each branch. Fun to watch!

Tomorrow D and I head out to San Francisco for our daughter's wedding! And all the family time, getting to know J's family better, seeing those we haven't visited with for too long, enjoying a city I could easily settle in. We'll eat Bi-Rite ice cream, hit the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park, maybe go see the giant redwoods in Muir Woods. The only way out of Muir Woods sends cars past Green Gulch Farms, so very tempting to just get off the road, turn down into the valley where horses wander in parched meadows and the rows of cultivated vegetables headed for organic restaurants in the city appear well tended and lush.
Here is another garden to find some peace of mind someday!

See you in a few weeks. In the meantime, may your practice be vital and compassionate, bright and sustaining!

Namu Amida Butsu!

thanks honey for the beautiful garden!

No comments: