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.


(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.)


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.)


Mystery Solved

There aren’t too many places in the immediate neighbourhood that we didn’t walk, Grant and I. The forty hectare eco reserve not very far from our home is one of them. I discovered this on one of this winter’s rambles. Its not far from the park where families picnic and seniors walk their little dogs along the river, but just far enough that fewer people go. There’s a walk around the perimeter, a couple of little bridges and lots of evidence of bird life.


Its an odd feeling, to find someplace new after eighteen years of walking here. There is a sense of discovery, a mild stirring of interest.


There is a swing bridge near where the trail branches off. It spans the oft referenced Fraser River, silty at this time of year. Its muddy and green most of the time here as a matter of fact.

Late at night, when the city is a bit quieter, I sometimes can hear a consistent industrial roar. Its not always there, and I wondered what it was. The sound of the docks on the river is more obvious, and the crashes and clangs of the work travel across water clearly. As it turns out, the roar is the incinerator for the regional district. It sits at the far entrance to the eco reserve, in the trees between the industrial area and the river. Its well off the main roads through the city and can’t be seen by commuters. In the daytime, the noise is just part of the ongoing background hum, and can’t be defined.


There are still farms in the Fraser River delta, and these came from a roadside stand spotted on the way home.

No fibre arts worth noting these past few weeks. The impulse is on a bit of a hiatus. I expect it will return.

The Thousand Hands, in a Glass Shop

The car spent some time in the glass place today, which meant a wait and an opportunity for a good long walk. Fraser Street is not the first place one thinks of for an urban hike, at least this end of it. One either strolls past the plumbing shops or heads for the cemetery.

This photo, which I retouched for privacy’s sake gave me good pause for thought.
Look at the dates. (His: 1964. Hers: 2007. In case the photo can’t be read.)

That’s a lifetime’s difference.


This new set of clothing, this uncomfortable suit of widowhood, it scratches and pinches and does not fit just yet.


This one is a monument to a beloved wife and mother and was likely placed at the same time as the trees that shelter it. I read the inscriptions in the heavy rain as I waited for the car.


The thousand arms as depicted in this statue represent compassion. There are implements in each of the hands, and some statues depict each hand with an eye in the palm, showing that all is seen. Its a way of demonstrating the myriad ways we are all helped.

The car was picked up and the (significant) leak fixed for less than quoted. It immensely relieved this stressed mind, given the records we are setting for rainfall.

Knitting etc. to come.

(Photo of Avalokiteswara lifted from the internet, not sure which temple it is from.)

Trust and the Heart are not Two Separate Things…

This is a line from a lovely poem, recently re-read.
“That Which is Engraved Upon the Heart That Trusts to the Eternal.”
Translated from the Chinese of the Thirtieth Ancestor, Great Master Chien-chih Seng-ts’an
From Buddhist Writings, a book from our practice.*


This was spotted on our morning walk around the golf course. Someone had placed this image, that of Kwan Yin, on the stump at the side of the trail.

Kwan Yin, also known as Kanzeon, Avalokiteswara, Great Compassion – She Who Hears the Cries of the World.

A reminder of the real.

* Jiyu-Kennett, MacPhillamy and Nearman, translators. Buddhist Writings (Mount Shasta California: Shasta Abbey, 1994) p.213.