At one stage on Saturday, the forecast for the week ahead looked like this:
This was a little alarming. It was chucking it down at the time, but I had spent the morning happily indoors and watching the World Cup (yes, England got knocked out, but they played well and almost beat the best team at the tournament, so no complaints from me).
Thankfully, the rain blew over by the time I had put on my robes and walked down to Zen Center for my second shuso ceremony of the week. Eli was taking no prisoners with his early answers, and I had already thought to ask him to show some tenderness to the block he hit with the staff at the end of each exchange. The block split in two a few questions ahead of my turn, so I asked instead if he could make it one again…
It was nice to get to stay for dinner, and to catch up both with current residents, and a former one sitting their first sesshin in more than ten years.
On Sunday morning, there was a break in the rain long enough for me to get a brief ride in (I think back to last fall and winter, where I was just building up the hours of riding week after week, whereas this year I have only had a couple of what I would think of as long rides since about June), and then it actually stayed dry until mid-afternoon. You would not have guessed that from the skies around Ocean Beach when I went out:
The forecast had caused one of my students and his partner to postpone their intended wedding ceremony from Sunday until Monday morning. They had already been abroad and had ceremonies with friends, but they needed to be legal in California, so this was a small affair. I was glad to have enough space on Monday morning to be able to go up with them and one friend/photographer/witness for an intimate sit and ceremony among the redwoods in Joaquin Miller park.
I had hoped to find an auspicious spot where I had performed a wedding a few years ago (which I don’t seem to have written about here); we didn’t find that one, but there was another little grove that was perfect for the occasion. It was a little challenging changing in and out of robes in the damp conditions – the rain was still dripping off the trees and evaporating where the morning sun was hitting it and the ground was soaked- but the occasion was lovely. It has been an honour to officiate at two of my students’ weddings now, and we were joking that I should chivvy along the other two regulars from the group.
I made it back over to the city in time for the lunchtime sit, which was quite chilly despite the sun. The forecast now says there will be no rain this week, so I have scheduled a couple of roams, on Friday and Saturday afternoon – reserving Sunday for the World Cup Final. And while the rain is always welcome and necessary, I am starting to hope there will be some dry weather over the last couple of weeks of the year so I can get more rides and roams in over the holidays.