I would regret the end of hot and sunny weather if it wasn’t so beautiful here in the fall. It has been wet and cloudy most days and waking up at 5am to go to chants in the dark is not easy but everything is still so beautiful that one really can’t complain. Well, one could always complain. It’s just that crisp autumn air and walking through the woods with multi-colored leaves around you doesn’t inspire negative thoughts.
We just finished a two week introductory course on the Bohdicharyavitara by Shantideva (some of us did. Some of us enjoyed two weeks of unscheduled mornings where we got to sit and do qi gong in our rooms or maybe go to the workshop and print) which brought a busier schedule and quite a bit more stress. So when we woke up on our open day Saturday to warm, sunny weather, hiking was called for. Gentle hiking, more like a nice walk.
I went with my pals Yanchen and Zangmo and a delightful and fun new resident, Dawn. This is after a morning of ridiculous eating before we couldn’t chew featuring corn cakes with Nutella and Strawberry/Rhubarb jelly sent by my Mom. There was also candy. And we ate marshmallows the night before around a fire. It’s funny how you still binge with whatever it is you are allowed. For us here at the abbey, it’s sugar and sweet milky tea and hot chocolate. You see now why walks and physical activity are important….
I have another open day today, in silence. It’s colder and rainy but I’m still going outside for at least part of it. Tourist season in Cape Breton stops after the Celtic Colours Festival in October but after everyone else is gone might be the best time to come and visit. As long as you have a good raincoat and boots.