Willow Creek

Wednesday was the kind of day where, looking ahead to it, my schedule seemed very full. I had an hour-long presentation on mindfulness to a corporate group, through Within, at 9:00am; I had my weekly Within sit at noon, another short meditation at four, with a nice group from company I have been sitting with for a couple of months, and my Zen Center talk at 7:30.

As is often the case though, once I got into it, there was still a lot of time and space in the day, and no cause to be stressed about what needed to be done. Seeing how early I normally get up, I had a pretty leisurely morning, even accounting for setting up a second screen to be able to manage my presentation better; time for coffee and elevenses before the noon sit; a chance to watch a replay of France-Portugal at the Euros in the afternoon, as well as sitting out in the sun at the back door, running over my talk a couple of times to make sure it held together; and dinner and a bath before giving the talk – as usual, I had several good ideas in the bath, which helped illuminate the points I was hoping to make.

I was thinking a lot about Willow Creek, burning again this week. Kim had alerted me to the fire at the end of last week, and I was able to track the hotspots on Monterey County’s topographical map – and thinking about the contrast with 2008, where Bryan and I would run up the Tony Trail to scout to see for ourselves what the latest was. The fire seems now to be burning slowly – as it did for a few weeks in 2008, until suddenly it was not slow at all.

Overall I felt fairly happy with how the talk went; it was lovely to see familiar faces from my years of practice at Zen Center in attendance, and to field questions from Tim and Miguel after I had given the talk. I will listen to it again when I have a chance, and post a link to it once I have edited it for the Zen Center website. 

Next Wednesday, I have three meditation sessions before 9:00 am, but I feel confident things will be okay.

Detail from the topographic map, Friday afternoon. Willow Creek runs (unusually for the area) west to east, and is in the middle of the redder patch. I had my fingeres crossed that the fire would not come over the ridge line towards Tassajara, and that seems to be the case so far.
Three photos, spanning four days, in 2008, the week before the fire came through Tassajara. These are all looking west along the Willow Creek valley, from the Tony Trail, a little way down from the ridge. In the last picture you can see an area that burnt out. I imagine it looks very similar right now.


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