Encounters on the cloister

Pause awhile to take it in.
Pause awhile to take it in.

The cloister, a third of a mile long covered walk way holds many a charmed moment. Cats disport themselves in the heat of the day and hunt by night. Sometimes there are clashes however for the most part peace reigns. It has not always been so. Max and Tom were both un-neutered toms and thus could not share the cloister. Max was caged by day and Tom by night. I wish it had been the other way around! Max who I cared for every summer in the 1980’s would appear in the morning in the garden beside ‘his house’ battle worn from a night out in the neighbourhood. Congealed blood mixed with dust matted into his long coat – he gazed out of his  crazed battle worn eyes saying something like: Don’t ask! Just let me in and feed me. I really didn’t need to ask. Long haired, champagne coloured and handsome. The old reprobate. We love those cats. I think he died in battle. One time he just didn’t make it home and was never found.

This morning walking to breakfast having received a couple of emails from readers saying how they appreciated the teaching in the recent Fire! Fire! post I was thinking I could give a talk based on it. No sooner had I thought that thought than the Prior caught up with me on the cloister! Had you thought of doing this Sunday’s Dharma Talk? She asked. I had to say yes because it was the truth and knowing full well that with my yes came the commitment to do it! So be it.

Part of my pondering on doing a talk was the wish to offer something into the merit pot for all those caught up in the fire that sprang up yesterday afternoon very close to the monastery. Mt. Shasta power was shut down for awhile and aircraft were coming in low over the property heading towards the fire to let loose water or fire retardant to save what ever was still not burnt. 150 structures or more were lost or damaged in a very short time, flames were fanned by a strong wind. The monastery was never under alert to evacuate, a community in the path of the fire did have to evacuate.
Update on the Boles fire Weed issues 15 mins ago.

Thoughts for the people of Weed and all who were involved in fighting the fire. And thank you to the monk now returned to her temple in Canada and once living close to Weed for her contribution of photographs.

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5 thoughts on “Encounters on the cloister”

  1. Enjoyed your post! The Mt. Shasta felines sound wonderful- much loved like our own herd. Good luck with your Dharma Talk- hope it will be available for online listening. :-) Hope you all stay safe from the many fires.

    1. Hay Jessica! I hear there are twelve cats here at the moment and all loved of course. Yes, the talk will most likely be on line to listen to. I am basing it on the post titled Fire! Fire! so nothing much new although you just don’t know how talks will turn out. We are safe but the local one in Weed was a major wake up for us here.

  2. I looking forward to hearing your talk. We are suffering a number of horrid fires here in California right now and the one in Weed I hear rushed through so quickly folks barely got out with themselves and pets.

    1. Yep that Weed fire rushed through fanned by strong winds. We had a night of light rain night before last which was refreshing but didn’t make too much of an impression as far as wetting the ground and trees.

  3. Dear Rev. Mugo

    When I was working as a volunteer warden in the Northumberland Forest Park back in the late 1990s through to around 2005 I was made acutely aware of the risks of forest fires. Luckily for us in the UK we have a very wet climate for which, I think, we should be grateful.
    Let’s hope California has a spell of British weather real soon.


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