In Place

The heatwave evaporated to be replaced by seasonally appropriate temperatures – from wandering around in shorts all day to suddenly needing to dig out all my winter clothes, and not wanting to get out of bed without some cosy layers. Chilly mornings and days that alternated between sun and fog, a definite sense of winter drawing in – even though, as we all know, that’s not an extreme thing in San Francisco. The forecast promises more heat to come; it also promised rain and that didn’t materialise in the end.

I still feel generally out of sorts: I love my new place, but just wish I was sharing it with my partner as planned. I have moved things around and bought some household things, but there are still a few pieces of furniture that are needed to make it a home. And I still feel the loss of the summer routines, the Instagram sessions and the discussions with the Hebden Bridge sangha.

While I have been doing some teaching, and have been enjoying my sitting, somehow that feels secondary, not just to this personal situation, but the collective breath-holding as the US gets closer to the election, and everything just seems to be getting crazier and crazier. And perhaps also to the sense that when winter does kick in, there will be a certain level of hibernation as the pandemic becomes more virulent again. The time feels liminal; it feels like changes – some for the better, some for the worse – are on their way, and that there is no point trying to settle until then.

And I know that such a standpoint is not how we practise. That every moment, every day – even the unsettled ones, the unwanted ones, even the ones of waiting and hoping – is valuable and worthy of our full attention. I am doing my best to do that and feel nourished in the process.

The fog on Great Highway. I confess I did not see the graffiti when I took the picture as I was riding along on my bike!
We’re still getting smoky sunsets.
On Friday I rode over to Heron’s Head to get some fresh air and stretch my legs. It was a pretty afternoon.

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