Going to London for a visa interview at the American Embassy usually leaves a deep impression on me. Most often not a positive one. This time circumstances I met left me feeling philosophical about the whole business. Perhaps because I’m not pressed to get to America and also I was through the whole process in record time. In the past I have been caught in the Embassy for up to five hours!
Picture the scene. The American Embassy in London, the non-immigrant visa section. Having started to que outside at 8.00 along with my follow hopefuls the line starts to move at 8.30, slowly. By around 9.00 I find myself, with more than a 100 others, in a large room facing a huge screen part of which shows a video, with subtitles, of America. The video is selling America. Universities, National Parks, family life, leisure, freedom and above all the potential to achieve ones dream. To be a success. Everybody is young and smiling, there is no rain! This America is indeed beautiful. And clearly we waiting hopefuls would not be putting ourselves through this ordeal if we didn’t want or need a visa to grant us entry to this beautiful country. From Field of Merit – Always Being Buddha.
Merit to those who grieve.
Imagine the delight. To come upon this fragrant wood. Oxfordshire, north of Reading after a full day driving. South to attend a visa interview in London on Thursday. Climbing aboard the train and tube and bus, walking on Oxford street with Selfridges to the right. All somewhat as in a dream.
Ah, to live a settled life….
Productive of beauty, bringers of joy.
The plumber came early this morning, his second or possibly third visit to fix a boiler problem. A recent visitor diagnosed the problem and left me with a drawing and the magic words – pressure chamber
. But somehow it didn’t seem right to be telling a professional how to do his job. But as it turned out, and with a number pointed questions from me after he’d failed first time around, my visitor had correctly diagnosed the problem. Nothing’s terminal
the plumber said as he good-naturedly set to work on that – pressure chamber!
So a successful outcome. Problem fixed. But from past experience that which seems fixed doesn’t stay fixed. Which phone number do you prefer me to use, I asked as he was packing up, just in case err…the problem comes back again. You can have faith in it Reverend, he said. Then he left. Out into the pouring rain to his next job. So I guess we learnt something from each other today.
And the photograph of the daffodils? They reminded me of a much valued aspect of our lives – productivity. Producing goods and services to create wealth. With warmth and all this rain the land is once again growing green. It is becoming productive. Indeed being productive. The lambs are avariciously eating grass. They grow rounder and less bouncy by the day. Soon they will go to the market, get sold and then…eaten! Some may live on to have their own lambs next year. And so the process goes on. Thinking about it I believe I appreciate the flowers and the lambs in equal measure. I’d hope we can appreciate all beings that way, productive or not.
Plumbers, I have to say, hold a special place in my heart.
View from above the Pembrokeshire Coast
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path, viewed with Google Earth is a doddle. Flying above the land, seeing remnants of an old air field, as in this image, brings a new perspective. And so it is with life circumstances some times. To fly above, to zoom out, to take the long view can help troubled times take on a three dimensional quality. And perhaps in doing that troubled times are seen with fresh insight.
I hope when Adrienne is lifting her boot on this stretch of coast I’ll be walking behind her, one step at a time.
Pitiably they cried – give us food.
Yesterday these sheep came running towards me from all directions, lambs jumping and leaping and all together, Ewes and lambs, they wanted something. The noise of their cries was something to behold. People do say the pasture is exceptionally late in greening. In fact there isn’t any greening
at all that I can see. Farmers are reporting more lamb deaths this year than ususal. So animal suffering out there on the fells and hills right now and with little hope of an improvement in the weather in the near future. Spare a thought for our starving friends.
And there is somebody out there in Derbyshire walking her socks off (well hopefully not literally) in preparation for her impending hike along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. Adrienne is also preparing to make blog posts to The Merit of Walking as she goes. Here is a post she just made from some windy hill. Erm, no it comes to us from the Grouse Inn where she was eating sticky toffee pudding!
Adrienne has obviously been doing more than recreational walking. At the top of the post she writes:
I have arrived –
I am home –
in each step.