When the Opposites arise

Will it ever get dark? Really. At this latitude, up here in Edmonton, it hardly gets dark at all at this time of the year. The birds don’t know what to do with themselves and I certainly don’t either. It’s coming up to 10.00 p.m. and the sun is going behind the clouds. The world here is awake, alive and chirping. And so am I.

This evening I was taken on an outing to a near-by dog park, with dogs. Edmonton is blessed with huge areas where they can run free. They can even take a dip in the river, if they must. Doggie heaven. “Is that bear scat”? Bears in the city, surely not! Bending over, taking a close-up look. “Yep, that’s bear scat alright”. We walk on, a little more aware of the rustles in the bushes. Will it come out and ‘get us’? Probably not. Bears tend to be shy and retiring for the most part. All the same, bears in the city, extra awareness and care is needed.

Bears shy and retiring? Maybe. But not shy, and hardly retiring, the other weekend during the retreat in Lytton, B.C.

A retreatant and I were having tea and cookies on the back lawn on Saturday afternoon. All was peaceful. We were deep in conversation about spiritual matters. The bugs were buzzing but nothing drastic. The temperature was rising up into the 30 c range, yet not unbearable. A rustle under a tree in the underbrush at the edge of the lawn caught our attention briefly. ‘Ah, a deer resting in the heat of the day’. Then the fuzzy ears emerged followed by the long nose. ‘A bear’! For some un-thought-out reason we continue to talk, although I did take the cookie plate into the kitchen. The logic being, bears like to eat cookies not people…

Time passed. Suddenly a noise from the bushes and a flash of white and a hollow sound and the bear was up on its feet. Our harmless fuzzy friend had not been resting but privately wrestling with a cooler. What do you do? You chase the bear away, shout, throw firewood, wave arms. Show your very strong disapproval. So our one year old bear lumbered off into the neighbouring property and the cooler, much chewed upon, was retrieved.

BTW. This story is an example of how NOT to behave around wild animals. And, once again, a reminder for me of how easy it is to become involved in the rights and wrongs, shoulds and should nots of wild animal law. Good story though.

Take care.

I once ventured to ask a senior of our Order what the extinction of suffering was. That’s the fourth of the Four Noble Truths. He said, ‘The absence of views’. This, of course, is linked to the final sentence in yesterdays posting. We are talking about the truth of no seperate self, not in theory, in practice.

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