Why, Debbie, how kind of you to say so! I just got back from a silent Vipassana meditation retreat in the Sierra Mountains of northern California, so of course I am feeling quite talkative and rather dry as well.
I'm at an old friend's house in Reno Nevada for a few more hours awaiting a 1:15 pm flight to Denver Colorado to visit my girlfriend whom I haven't seen in 4 months.
The weather up there in the mountains is normally gorgeous this month but this past winter broke all records for snowfall so the place (Origin - one of the loveliest pieces of real estate I've ever seen) was a slushy, muddy mess with broken trees and branches all over the place. I stayed in a little tiny cabin by what is normally a lovely little lake but was actually a large stinky mud pit because the caretaker had to divert the stream that feeds it (normally a gentle little brook but now a raging brown torrent) to keep the earthen dam from being washed out. Everywhere I tried to walk was either wet slushy snow that wouldn't bear one's weight and - crunch! up to the thigh in the damn' stuff or else sucking muck that clung to one's boots in great, ever-expanding blobs.
Not at all like the green grass, wildflowers and blue lake that I was expecting. I must have taken those muddy waterproof boots on and off 80 times in 5 days. Spiritual Boot Camp!
The good news is that neither the beautiful huge house that we built back in '79 nor any of the out buildings were crushed by the snow or falling trees, and John Travis
was in top form. I only wish it had been 9 days instead of 5. Five days isn't long enough; just about the time my meditation started to get deep (the first few days of sitting are like Chinese torture) - poof! - it was over.
Well, better luck next year.
So, how are things out your way?