Off On A Trip

I noticed I was sighing a lot at the end of each thing that got done before I left: after the last commuting day; after the last class; after the two roams. None of these things were hard or unpleasant, but having got them out the way, I was one step closer to being able to get everything else done for my trip. My usual thing with stress of not having too many things, but having many things before the thing I think I should be concentrating on.

We managed to wrap up the Dogen well enough, though I didn’t get through all my material – people contributed a lot to the discussion with observations and questions, and I was just about staying afloat of notions of time and space. After a sweet roam from Mountain Lake to the Mission on the Friday, there was a good loop of Glen Canyon and Diamond Heights on Saturday afternoon, with abundant wildflowers, and views to the distance in the clear spring light, for all that the wind was cold.

I felt motivated to keep my climbing legs in good shape until I left and had an idea to go up both San Bruno mountain and Sweeney Ridge on my bike before I went to Europe. I managed to do both and it was very satisfying – perhaps not as satisfying as getting up Mount Diablo a year ago, but still very pleasant, even with chilly winds, onshore winds both times.

A dear friend also passed through town on Sunday night, so I borrowed a car to pick her up from the airport, and take her back the next morning before a solid few hours of sitting, study, and teaching. But since I had nothing scheduled on Tuesday, I worked my way through everything on my to-do list, and still had time to clean and tidy before heading off to the airport.

Unusually, I managed to sleep – or at least rest – for much of the overnight flight, which left me feeling perkier than usual once I had arrived in London. Getting to my friend’s house was very smooth; we chatted through the evening, and then I slept very deeply for a few hours.

Then the next journey began, taking the train on a bright spring day to Bristol, through the very familiar countryside that I grew up in, to pick up a car and drive to my sister’s. The roads were busy and narrow, so it was a little nerve wracking, but I arrived in one piece, and got to relax for the rest of the day.

Friday was also not very busy, though we drove west to meet my step-sister and -brother. I have known them since I was seven or eight, and have seen Jane a few times in recent years, but John and I didn’t think we had met in twenty-five years. It was nice to catch up, and we had a very relaxed lunch in a village pub with two resident French bulldogs begging for food in a most appealing way. We walked around the village and it started raining some just as we got back to the pub.

This weekend will be more ceremonial, and I will write about that next time.

A sunny first morning in London.
Sunset the same day at my sister’s.
Somebody really wanted my chips.

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