With Basket in Hand

Never before have I checked in at an airport with a basket. A basket containing, essentially, a picnic! What ever was I thinking? But climbing up above the clouds, seeing the North Saskatchewan River snaking it’s way through the city, the sun glinting off the water, I was glad to be eating the picnic. Like in the olden days.

An aunt, now no longer with us, would tell of her early aviation adventures. “Yes my dear, we would dangle our legs, open up the picnic basket and have lunch”, “the wind blowing one’s dress you know…” “So VERY exciting”! “Yes, of COURSE, everything open-air”. That must have been the 1920’s. Later she was companion to the British Ambassador’s wife in Peking. “Yes. I did learn Mandarin, one should you know”. And “This very nice Taoist monk taught me to meditate, in the bazaar.”

Everybody would benefit from early exposure to an adventurous, unconventional aunt and I had two.

As a young monk, visiting my parents, the same aunt called me to her room. “Now my dear, I’d like you to teach me to meditate”. The story of the Taoist monk came out during this interview. I did my best to instruct her and afterwards, to my amazement, she pulled out a five-pound note and gave it to me. This recognition from my bold and unconventional aunt, her act of gratitude, meant a lot. Later we had crumpets with far too much butter!

Let us remember those adults who came into our early lives and whose stories allowed for, showed the possibility of, a personal revolution.

Revolution: A drastic and far-reaching change in ways of thinking and behaving.

Landed in Vancouver OK, basket in hand!

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