Smoke Series

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A bit of restlessness, borne of a bit of house arrest due to the smoke levels made a road trip, just for the morning, necessary. The province, a good deal of it, is on fire.

It is a day of sharp edges today. The smoke a part of it. Of course, like all things, it passes.

(A neighbour told me the wind will change tonight, and the smoke will likely be as if it never was. But the evacuees and the beings in the line of fire remain. It seems wrong to light a stick of incense in this case, and so I don’t. Offering merit isn’t dependent on that anyway.)

 

 

Sangha

One definition is those who walk the way with you. More specifically and correctly it refers to the monks and lay people, male and female who follow the Buddha’s teaching, who may come together in  Buddhist communities. I’m using it in the broader way. We walk our way together straight – fabulous Sangha sisters.

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The next day after the gathering for the Kwan Yin festival we went for a walk in the hills. Selfies were done. Then, a walk in the hills complete with a picnic lunch on the Thompson River.

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From Kamloops, from Vancouver and from the wee house. Converging to celebrate the festival and be grateful. Pretty good.

 

 

 

Merit Walking

It was a clear impulse yesterday, to walk. Not an especially challenging route, rather a quiet one.

The road above the Fraser was filled with the scent of Mock Orange.

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(Its still astonishing to me that these are growing wild everywhere. Its the height of the blossoms right now. Beside many of these the Saskatoon berries are emerging. There are cherries being sold in the village.)

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Abandoned building along the road. There’s a lot of that out here.

 

Merit walking – how to explain. Lightly holding those one offers to in the mind initially, then letting it go and just walking. Like our meditation practice. And when the thoughts return to the person, the situation, the world, the news, the newly diagnosed, the personal and the larger view, just keep on walking.

 

(for L.)

 

Friends/Sisters

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We went and said hi at a special place at the temple.  As the sky opened up and we were drenched in a deluge, we both swore that we could imagine laughter from that well loved man.

Thanks Sunshine for a good, good visit.

And a tourist shot, from Spence’s Bridge after an excellent meal at the Packing House.

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Lots of photos taken, a bit of scrambling in the mud, a bit of walking. The ingredients were all there.

 

 

Ever so slightly out of focus…

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But you know what? So am I a good deal of the time! (Ever so slightly out of focus, that is.)

Its when one is taking pictures of wildlife that the skill of the professional photographer is obvious. Despite a recent class, (which was pretty good actually) I still managed to set things up so that the camera  wanted to take a great picture of the nest, rather than the inhabitants of said nest. Still, not too bad for a stop by the side of the road, an awkward fumble for the camera, and then a few minutes of wonder, listening to these two chortle and squeak at each other. They were quite vocal, and it was just as much fun watching and listening than anything else.

From Highway 8, between Merritt and Lytton. A trip to get cat litter. (Amongst other things. When you have to drive to the amenities you take a list. )

 

 

A Good Day

New friends took me out for the day.  We searched for, and found, wild asparagus. We walked where I didn’t know we could go, and it was good. We had, get this, a small fire and had a (veggie) weiner roast! (This I haven’t done for a while. Years.)  And – we walked, and we walked. We saw the remains of a more prosperous time, 50, 60 years ago, more? This is part of the reason I came here.

The asparagus was an excellent dinner, with a bit of lemon and seasoned salt…

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At the site of the old orchard and homestead.  The mountain behind is called Arthur’s Seat.

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Another view of Arthur’s Seat.

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The Thompson River is swollen and full of debris after a recent heavy storm. Those are snow sheds for the trains on the other side. This is rugged country.

 

This Place

 

by Jennifer Firestone

This place previously in a vision      Wet pen drawn at the line
A place religiously tied     religiously religiously
A person, place or thing
Bring thy pebble or thy flowers or thy inscription
Bring bring bringeth your love
Dear ones bringeth your love
Ashes to trees
The trees!

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The Chinese cemetery in Ashcroft has been beautifully restored. There has been great care taken with cleaning up the grave sites and a talented local artist is responsible for the dragon and the tiger you see on the altar. The central plaque details the formal apology the provincial government offered in 2014, an apology for centuries of racist practises, both institutional and on the part of the citizenry.  The cemetery sits right next to the train tracks, up on the hill out of the village.

One offers incense without lighting it, given the extreme fire risk in this windswept region. It struck me that this is a place that would benefit from offerings of merit.  I recommend a stop and a walk around if one is in the area.

 

The poem was one of the daily ones I get by email, seemed to fit.