Merit Walking

Fairy Steps, Arnside Cumbria.
Fairy Steps, Arnside Cumbria.

It is said
Don’t touch
The walls
And a wish
Is granted –
I guess.

A narrow pass
Made for fairies.
With wings
I’d say!
Too narrow a pass –
For mortals.

Life takes
The narrow pass
When wings
and a ‘prayer’
Is all there is –

stone wall gate
As one walks from field to field squeezing through these constructions are a constant reminder of how tight and constricted life circumstances can become. Mentally, physically, emotionally. And the need to carry on into the field beyond and the one beyond that.

These past couple of days I’ve taken advantage of the fine weather to walk in the local area. One of the must visit places are the Fairy Steps. A narrow and precipitous stair-way down (or up) a limestone wall. (this walk gives an idea of what it looks like around here – the walk includes the Fairy Steps too).

A thought for all those who are currently climbing through a ‘narrow pass’ in their lives.

Death Poem from a Mother

From a mother to her children.
From a mother to her children.

To Those I Love…
When I am gone, just release me, let me go
So I can move into my afterglow
You mustn’t tie me down with your tears
Let’s be happy that we had so many years
I gave you my love, you can only guess
How much you gave me in happiness.
I thank you for the love you each have shown
But now it’s time I travelled on alone
So grieve for me a while, if grieve you must
Then let your grief be comforted with trust
It’s only for a while that we must part
So bless the memories within our heart
And then, when you must come this way alone
I’ll greet you with a smile and a “Welcome Home.”
Marian Wootton

All merit from this post and the poem go to Marian Wootton who died on 21st January 2015. And to her children. What a wonderful poem to find among the private papers of one’s recently deceased mother. Lovely and thank you K for your continuing support.

Living On Alms

Not every day a hot air balloon comes close enough to see people in the passenger basket, dangling dangerously close to tree tops! Yesterday evening was such a day. Such excitement among the children. And the rest of us! Eventually the balloon made a dignified, all be it unscheduled, landing on the local playing field. Was it a flight or a voyage? It must have been scary what ever it was.

This evening a walk along the marshes at sun set. The tide was out the mud flats exposed. Not a place to venture out into. And stay alive.

Exactly a week ago I transferred across the Pennines from the monastery to stay in Cumbria again. This time to ‘flat-sit’ in South Lakeland close to Morecambe Bay. And close to a number of sangha members.

It’s been good to have lived in both Shasta and Throssel this past year and connect with my fellow monastics. Now time to return to where you all live. To connect. Directly.

Living takes many forms. Talking to a plumber about her work this morning on Skype and then this afternoon a short drive to visit an 80+ year old grappling with living her life. Then sitting in the car while a swarm of workers sprayed and wash it. ‘You work very hard’ I said in appreciation of a job very well done. Their English didn’t stretch to an answer. Living takes many forms. Living on donations, as I do, is……? Humbling.

Thank you people for your financial support which makes it possible to live as I do. And for offerings too. Today a bed sheet arrived by mail and a frying pan handed me. Much gratitude all around.