Saturday, April 18, 2015
Sara and me and baby Christina
Holly and I headed up to 'our' hiking trail on Tiger Mountain (well Holly whined about my short leash because of my call schedule) so I managed it, a few hours outside the city in the beauty of the new forest growth. Trillium! Young fern fronds! Trees down and sun blading through the boughs.
Before we get there, at the trailhead, homeless encampment #4 along the paved road. A generator, porta-potties in a row, a kitchen, a lounge with a flat screen TV, an office and wooden pallets with tents and tarps, homes. A man and a boy, father and son? They smiled at us and petted Felix. The boy was working on a computer. A woman with a small dog. Fragments of their former lives. All under the forest canopy beside the freeway, warm spring air, nettle shoots and leaf buds on the alder.
Writing this though my heart breaks, breaks with the thrush song in the pines and my brothers and sisters living outside in such circumstances. I still haven't found a way to hold all the sorrow and joy in one place. And so unexpected to to find a homeless camp at the edge of the woods where I go for solace. It no longer works to 'forget' that we are always in the slipstream of change, that we aren't separate from all that is. The great birth and the great death, the brief time we call our lives.
As Larry Ward, a dharma teacher said recently, "Who are you? The Dalai Lama knows who he is. Do you know who you are?" It's not enough to have our saints and heroes. We must be ready to respond in the present moment.
Holly gave the guy in the office a few bucks. We talked with the woman with the dog. I am you, sister. I could easily be where you are. I offer you kindness. May you be well and safe and happy.