Warm days and cold nights are giving way to cold days and colder nights. I have taken to leaving the fire burn a little later providing with a few coals to work with in the early morning.
It is archery season for deer. I have seen a few hunters cross the cart path passing by the cabin. It is somewhat startling as the distance between here and town is close to seventeen miles on the south east and eleven miles to the west. Usually archers will set up stands on known rutting areas and deer paths. Milling about the woods is usually left for those that are pushing deer towards another hunter. The two I saw today looked like mannequins for an LL Bean catalog.
And then there is Earle. Yes, Earle. I would have jokingly called him Earle in a stereotypical joking sort of a way that only Yankees like me would get. Almost spit when he told me his name. I told him so. He enjoyed my laughter, even if it was at his expense.
Earle is a wiry man of seventy years. As he had walked from the west end of the wood, over twelve miles, he adds, He wears a bright orange vest and hat.
"People shoot and ask questions later," he says with a drawl, closer to an upper Maine accent than that of a Massachusetts Yankee.
He looks like Bruce Lee in an older white man sort of way, if you know what I mean. Tight, lean, muscular and he moves like a cat. His wife of thirty eight years passed last spring. His two daughters teach medicine at a teaching hospital in Minnesota. He let on that he had cancer several years ago. He wants to talk and I like to listen. Earle tells me that he noticed my rather large wooden Buddha, that I had brought along for company, on his first visit. He noticed my few books and incense that sat upon the side table.
"When I was at my worse, I felt that my pain was the easy thing to deal with. It was not being able to work and pay my bills that caused me the greatest pain. It was so Gaul-danged unfair to my wife."
He told me of his oldest daughter's trip home on several occasion to prod him into a meditation program at our local teaching hospital. The program enrolled anyone beset by the stress of illness and pain, teaching the participants to meditate forty minutes each day while learning about proper technique and about the automatic ways in which we learn to react to difficult life situations. He stated that he still meditates regularly and that he also thought that I would know "what he was talking about."
When the student is ready, the teacher will come.
Who is teaching whom here. Earle, you restore my faith in the mystery of the cosmos. Such fun. Such awe.