I left the visitors center in Jasper clutching a book and silently praying for high winds and rain! My annual adventure read is Seven Years in Tibet however I failed to organize a copy before we left for the hills. This book, Icefields by Thomas Wharton is a different kind of read, and is running neck and neck with the old favorite.
The last days leading up to leaving the priory were filled with talk preparation and packing, culminating in a long morning at Truc Lam Monastery on Saturday to celebrate Wesak. Afterwards some body asked How do you feel about the talk? The only thought that immediately came to mind was, It’s over! Thankfully my pre public talk anxiety level is diminishing and has largely transformed into a happy anticipation mixed with mild excitement. Basically the talk went OK. The weeks before such an event are still a struggle however. Pining down the subject is like trying to nail jam to a wall. Uh! I’ve been waiting to use that simile ever since somebody, wrongly, attributed it to me.
We, Rev. Scholastica and I, are now happily ensconced in a warm and comfortable cabin overlooking snowy mountain peaks, viewed from across the wide Rocky Mountain Tough. We traveled on Sunday. Originally we had planned to spend a second morning at the Monastery to celebrate Wesak with the Vietnamese congregation. However, having some responsibility for ensuring the Reverends physical rest, and mine too, I suggested we use the whole day to make the five hour journey from Edmonton to Valemount. Which we did; arriving just in time to unpack before the skies opened. My prayers answered!
As for the book? I’m on page 107 and managing to maintain a reasonable balance between reading and the rest of the day. The story is written in a form that lends itself to being let go of, and picked up again with little or no grief. As a recovering reader I appreciate this, there were times in my younger life when a book would not let me leave until the last page was turned. If the weather holds I’ll be turning that last page just before leaving on Friday having taken a few walks as well.
It is good to have a change of pace to rest, read and reflect. Many thanks to all who have made this possible.