Namaste! I just (well just being on Sunday evening) returned from a wonderful much needed weekend with none other than Hannah Barnes in Vacaville/Davis/Sacramento. Friday night we stayed up late drinking tea and laughing and talking, so much about our summers up on the mountain and all of you beautiful people. Saturday dawned glorious, and we were gloriously up to meet it around 8:00, ready for some protein and caffiene and water to fuel us for a morning of bike riding! We met up with Hannah’s friend Scott in Davis and set out, sun glowing down upon us and the flat fields. Every now and again rows of trees rose to meet us – olives, walnuts, oranges now and then dripping orbs of sunlight, others as well I’m sure, unrecognized by my untrained eye. A V of geese flew overhead calling to us below. Cyclists in their cycling getup zipped by us, on your left, and we smiled as we meandered across the graffitid bridge, round lazy bends, the wheels of our cycles turning lazy circles in the morning. Newly planted orchards, no more than sticks within white piping, traced dotted lines in the fields, reminiscent of lives remembered in Arlington cemetary. Or perhaps we had it all wrong and the cemetary was really a cry back to the fields of trees, new life, hardly begun, hardly showing the life in them at all, no sign yet of the fruit someday to bear. Beautiful.
We arrived at our little town, the downtown street recently cobbled in bricks, spick and span, cute but with an almost antiseptic (not the right word, but it’s late) feeling to its newness. The bricks just too even, to uncracked, unused looking. We feasted – bottomless cups of coffee for me and Scott and a wide selection of teas for Hannah. Eggs and toast for Hannah and Scott and fresh fruit, yoghurt and raisin toast for me. “Will the raisin toast be alright?” the waitress asks politely. Later, remembering, Scott scoffs, “Will the raisin toast be alright? Really… It’s like asking someone if they’d enjoy some sunshine and happiness on the side.” We laughed and agreed. The ride back was queiter, more contamplative. Bellies full of good food and eyes full of countryside. How good it does us.
I come home. Home to my job where I watch Mrs. O’Connor dying. I said it for the first time today, she’s dying. Perhaps she will be dying for a long time, but that is certainly what is happening. She can no longer stand up. She can still smile and joke and tell me no and not to bother her with all that stuff, waving away the plate of food I’m here to serve her. “I’m tired,” she tells me sometimes. “I want to go home.” I can only think of the home that comes when we rest one with the earth, nutrients for the soil that nestles and nurtures all those sapplings rowed up and encased like the memories of the fallen in Arlington.
I come home to look forward to when I shall next be in Nepal. By midApril I shall be working on a project to research through interviews and so forth how one specific International Non Governmental Organization (INGO), the dZi Foundation, is doing in terms of community based development. I will be traveling once more to places far reaching. As I did on Saturday on my bike.
I come home to my friends and family with whom I live. Friends and family for whom I no longer get out the good smile or the happy laugh if they are not there naturally, without effort.
I come home to await responses from theological schools, responses I will receive in two months.
In the meantime, I hope that I can gain some perspective and acceptance. I am where I am today. May I be accepting and joyful of that.
I meant for so much more of this to be about Horton Center. WE thought and talked ever so much about it and each of you. There is so much love. I guess this is shared, however, in the spirit of the Council Circle. And I pass the stick on to whomever is next. Where are you in your journey? I miss you and love you. And I feel pretty confidnt in saying Hannah does too. Smile.
Ever so much love,
p.s. A beautiful poem I’d like to share:
It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.