Here I am, in St. Gallen, Switzerland, beginning a retreat tomorrow. It’s warm and humid, very irregular, I’m told. A lot like a New England summer. Thunderstorms in the evenings, of which I have great fear.
Back home life goes on. I paid a special fee to AT&T to open up my phone for Europe so that I could be in contact with Bernie, but I know that things are well back home. There was a wonderful picnic in a farm for children and their families, some of them undocumented, with sheep, ducks, pigs, horses, a birthday cake, watermelon, home-made ice cream, and pizza. See the life, see the joy of encounter. Why should my absence even be noted?
Meals are being cooked, the dishwasher breaks, Bernie exercises, the zendo sits, the birds sing, Stanley gets older, the flowers bloom and wilt, the rain falls and doesn’t. The new refrigerator arrives without me, as does the mail. Everything happens at exactly the right time in the right way.
Leaving home is a great way to appreciate that no matter how you or others feel you’re needed, life goes on very nicely without you.
How are you doing, Bernie?
Fine. How are you doing?
In Switzerland today, in London early next week, home late next week, and one day I’ll be everywhere, as they say of those who die.
And for the next few days of retreat, the blog goes silent.