How to…..

Talking to somebody the other day. Talking about being the best person one can be. How do you do that? she asked. Off the top of my head, which is where so many of my responses come from, I replied – Well it has to do with intention, doesn’t it? Our intention to exercise compassion, unconditional love and matured wisdom in our daily dealings. Best we can. Sounded OK at the time anyway.

It was the first time somebody had asked ‘how to….’ which was a good question.

Soon (the 11th November) it will be the twentieth anniversary of my mother’s death. Just having a thought for her, a grateful thought.

Wild Life

East Second Street
East Second Street

She stood still beside a tree, became the tree, while the herd of Bison passed by. The Grizzly Bear circled the camp several times in the night while we all remained on high alert, including the horses.

I gazed up into the tree and saw a large bird with a white head and tail feathers with a flock of small birds taunted it from branches higher up. Below a dead deer beside the road. Only later did I discover I’d sighted the famous Bald Eagle which is both National Bird and National Animal of the USA. Like so many wild life encounters one doesn’t remember to reach for a camera. In my case I thought I was looking at a large dejected crow with a white head!

Being here in Montana, hearing wild life stories and close encounters and my mild, and ultra safe encounters, can’t help but bring to heart and mind the gift these creatures give us. An organization called Vital Ground helps the gift of our wild friends to keep on giving by protecting and restoring North America’s grizzly bear populations by conserving wildlife habitat. Doug Chadwick founding board member of Vital Grounds lives locally. He is as inspiring as the wild creatures he loves and brings natural humility to his table. That’s along with an engaging sense of fun and an unfettered spirit.

More Reading than Writing!

Downtown Whitefish, Montana
Downtown Whitefish, Montana

Here road weary and with nasty cold. Each day since I arrived in Whitefish I’ve struggled into the outdoors and walked. There’s snow but not much, the temperature is below freezing but not too much. There’s wild life aplenty. Deer running and leaping free across snowy fields towards the railway lines. Wild turkey hanging out in the neighbourhood scratch out a living. Yesterday I found myself standing in the road stopping a car so a lagging-behind turkey crossed safely.

Weaving in and out of my days, and nights as I cough and sneeze has been a book titled A Tale For the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. Not a book to read in the middle of the night when you’re unwell since some of the content is a bit heavy-duty. However it’s a thoughtful book where time features, life and death feature, Zen Master Dogen’s teaching on time is there too. Oh, and it’s funny.

train tracks at Whitefish
train tracks at Whitefish

Just recently I discovered the panoramic feature on my phone. Click on the photograph to view full size.

Idaho – Somewhere

Ten hours on the road with varying weather conditions and now in Whitefish Montana. Warming by a wood burner and catching up with long standing sangha friends. No! Really! You had a bear in the house! And similar wild west stories with a modern twist.

Oregon – Somewhere

On the road north to Montana
Hours of driving ahead and hours already traveled. This is a huge country. Majestic. Subzero and safe so far.