Darkness was still the captain of the day and at six a.m. the temperature was a frigid thirty eight degrees. I put off lighting the stove in an effort to conserve fuel and shortly I became accustomed to the cold.
I thought that I might hike to the northern end of the wood. I don't know this area well although the seventeen mile hike to get here is quite familier. My house is southeast of the cabin that my associate was so gracious to let me borrow for a season. So, I headed out in the late morning. I had a loose topographical map of the northern wood in my head; or at least I thought so. It was my belief that if I stayed true north I would come across the Old Boston road. This was not the case. Sometimes our best laid plans can melt away. This became obvious as the captain reappeared leaving me in the blind and quite cold.
I noticed that my chest was tight and that my breathing was shallow and fast. I found a clump of thick bush at the base of a hill and settled in. I sat erect and still and focused on my breath until it slowed to a natural rhythym and I began to examine my thoughts.
I was lost. And cold. And my stomach called for food. And my body required insulin. I have people who need and depend on me. What in the hell was I doing here so unprepared in an unknown wood?
Although all of this was true, I began a meditation on lovingkindness. How would sitting here, full of regret and fear, be of any help?
In time, I felt relaxed and warm and accepted that I would need to plan for spending the night. Within a few hours I began to feel tired and just went with it. I awoke at daybreak surprised that it was light enough to find my way. I found my lovely hideaway before ten a.m. and had some peanutbutter crackers and tea. I lit a fire.
Anxious to hear some report of my friends who had kidney surgery that day, I went to my bag and pulled out my cell. Did Bodhidarma have a cell??? Nancy was giving a kidney to Marie. It appears that all went well although there were minor issues for Marie. I will need to call again. I recognized the conditioned thoughts that arose in my mind about having a cell, a computer, a generator and fridge in my period of hermitage. I laughed and put the phone away. I lit my pipe and enjoyed the aroma of the swirling smoke. It danced upon the ceiling and faded away.
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This Being Human.......


Loralee Choate said…
I'm so glad about your friend. The solitude of the fire, smoke and peanut butter crackers sounds simple and divine.
justrose said…
i was thinking of you and just checking in to see how your journey was going.