The Lingering Colours Of Fire

On the way up to Wilbur last Friday, I could see the first autumnal shades on the hillside – maybe it was just the poison oak in Cache Canyon, but the reds were starting to show. While I was there, the temperatures were a notch lower than the previous two visits, in the nineties during the day – with a little chill in the mornings – and it felt like the last time I would be in such temperatures this year. When I am next there at the end of October I know things will feel very different.
On Friday night the moon rose a steady orange; on Saturday the sky was barely blue, just a hazy brightness, and in the evening, there were no more stars visible than you typically see in the city; on Sunday morning, as I was running along the ridge above the cemetery, the sun came over the lip of Bear Valley as a wan red disc. Later in the day, clouds were visible – perhaps the wind had shifted – and the light brightened. As people left on Sunday afternoon, I lingered at the baths, enjoying the warmth and the quiet as I had all weekend, ready for a last sit.
After the sittings I gave some of my short, rambling talks, with whatever phrases had come to the fore in the silence, ‘settling the self on the self’, ‘like a tiger taking to the mountains’ – having done tai chi with John in the mornings on the bridge where we practised stepping like tigers among other movements. Once again, I wondered afterwards how I had got from my starting point to my ending point, and whether recording these little talks to listen back to them afterwards would end up being rather embarrassing; they are designed for the moment, for the space we are sitting in and the people who are there. I just hope that they helped contribute something to people’s sitting experience. I am mainly happy that people get a chance to sit together as we do when we are there.

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The ubiquitous hares on the main path at Wilbur as the sun set on Saturday

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The different light at the bathhouse on Saturday and Sunday

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Reflected sunset colours in the pool on Sunday evening

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The moment before sunrise on the Bear Valley Road on Monday morning.

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