You Do Not Call Winter The Beginning Of Spring

The rains finally let up, and clear skies moved in – with a north wind, so it was extremely clear, but cold around the edges. It warmed up nicely for a couple of days, and is now cooling off again. But, January or not, blossoms and buds have started to show. The buckeye in my yard is budding out all over; on Sunday’s roam we saw cherry blossoms, magnolias and poppies on the sunny side of Potrero Hill. 

In my student group check-in this week, several people spoke about how their internal weather had improved along with the external changes. There have been times for sure when I have felt relaxed and joyful just feeling warmed by the sun. The slow dawns and sunsets, with the new year’s new moon hanging low, have held promise of fine days.

I have tried to get some bike riding in on as many days as possible; since the usual strong afternoon winds are absent, it has been fun riding back to the ferry on the way home. In gaps between commitments, I go out for an hour around the city. But it is many months since I rode the kind of distances that I used to think of as my standard. Part of that has been circumstantial, and part of it is probably just age catching up with me.

Last weekend I had intended to do a longer ride on Saturday, since I had the roam on Sunday, but this plan was scuppered by my neighbours having a backyard party with a DJ and sound system on Friday night, that interrupted my sleep past midnight. I did ride, but was not feeling energetic enough to go too far or too hard. 

In the afternoon I had two commitments: a jukai at Zen Center, which one of the ordinands had hoped I would attend, and an event in the park where I had volunteered to take photographs for the Bicycle Coalition. Both were lovely, though I would have stayed and mingled at the first longer if I hadn’t had to get to the second.

(In case you aren’t familiar with the title of the post, it comes from the Genjo Koan, but Dogen obviously never spent the early months of the year in San Francisco).

Perhaps my favourite shot from the jukai, just for the subtle light.
Preceptors and ordinees.
The City Center maple, still bare.
Folks gathering at the Light Up The Night event.
After being twice postponed due to rain, the chosen day offered an amazing sunset.
January blossoms.
Buckeye buds enjoying the sun.

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