Age Turns Another Year

I celebrated this week’s birthday by clearing fence lines of fallen logs, underbrush, and the like, so that Jo can fix up the wires. This is an annual project of neighborliness, keeping the horses where they’re welcome, and restraining irresponsible hunters. We’ve got areas that were skipped in recent years due to illness and the many pressing needs on our plates. Working up in the beautiful woods is a delight this time of year. Lush greenery, mosses, ferns, wild flowers, fungi, birds, and trees fully leafed out. The raspberries are flowering! Not so hot, yet, and with this wet spring’s dampness, there’s plenty of shade and enough cool that sweat is only moderate.

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the good stuff

A special joy comes with the memory of what was wrapping up with me two years ago. Walking thru swampy low parts of the valley and up & down hills with a chainsaw is excellent exercise. Legs, back and arms get plenty of work and a variety of movements. I’m grateful that I can do it for 3 hours at a crack without killing myself. While exhausting enough to require a full night’s sleep to recover, the strength has been available each day. Pretty good birthday gift! (And important for our hopes of managing all that needs doing here.)

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Doug working the broadfork

The cherry on my cake was a gorgeous pile of well composted manure & straw that Jo & Doug B hauled up from the barn to the garden. It will provide enough garden soil food for next year. This year’s garden is bigger then ever and the soil is in great shape after last fall’s composting and mulching (with lots of input from the horses and Peter K’s labor). Doug & others (see last post) helped get the beds ready; I’ve had the privilege of planting them. Transplants are thriving and direct seeds are sprouting. Some breaks in the rain and a bit more sun would be nice, but no complaints with weather that reminds of Thailand. For us, at least, it beats last year’s drought. Anyway, complaining about weather strikes me as futile hubris and ingratitude.

Ajahn Buddhadasa liked to tease or mock his age every year. (His birthday was May 27th.) While I’ve been in more celebratory mode, I keep in mind the uncertainty of good health. A ripping chainsaw is an excellent reminder of how serious injury is always close at hand with power tools. Finding a deer-stand in our southwest corner and shot up cans are reminders of violence and death. And this week’s beauty wasn’t as apparent when heavy rains were water-logging the hillsides and washing out parts of the driveway. Breathers were also opportunities to investigate how the pleasures and unpleasantries of the senses are conditioned phenomena within a stream of experience and activity the owner of which cannot be found. All surrounded and permeated by the Dhamma of Nature.

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garden beds waking up

Plans for the first hermitage are set. Building permit application will go in shortly. We’ll be digging post holes for the post & beam foundation any day now. Once that is done, Carlo will take over with the help of volunteers. Should be ready by end of summer.

Also, the design process for a guesthouse has taken further steps. We’re seeking professional help in designing the space effectively for meditators to cook, shower, launder, etc. w/ some comfort, along with a guestroom and office. This project will be a big challenge in many ways, including the cost and need to raise funds. However, once it happens,  we have the basic infrastructure needed to host people the way we’d like and keep our sanity, too.

If anyone would like to help with these projects, please let us know.

And many thanks to folks who’ve been helping already. You’ll see more pictures of them on this Blog, once my arms stop aching 😉

This entry was posted in Dhamma, Garden, Plants, & Ecology, General. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Age Turns Another Year

  1. santi says:

    Adriane & Jo brought by 9 seedlings of heirloom Italian tomatoes, good both for slicing and saucing, to fill out the garden a bit more. I planted them between last night’s heavy rain and tonight’s (maybe). Along the way I picked some of our abundant dandelion greens. Nature is beating us to the punch, ur, sprout!
    While continuing to clear the fence lines, managed to cut fallen oak and elms into firewood. Well on our way to meeting this winter’s needs.

  2. wanderer63 says:

    Hi Santi,
    Greeting from Thailand! I’m a Thai man.
    Sorry that I’ve just read a bit of here and there in your blog/site. I have been in hurry to reach you but cannot find your email address anywhere. We need to talk in a bit privacy. To make a long short, I’m a (book) writer/translator/editor (have been a freelancer for 15 years now.) I’m going to get a project of translating some of Ajran Buddhadasa’s books into English (That was why I searched and found about you and your work here, in Thailand.)
    Though, the owner of that publisher (we are close friends) have tried to convince me to do that for more than a decade but I never believed that it’s the right way to do it. To translate Thai into English, it is a job of a native English speaker! It is a must! And some Thai translators ignored this basic rule, and…well…:-)
    Can you (with your health) still want or are interested to do this kind of work. I can be your editor to check some missing meanings (from Thai), just in case. To be honest with you, there are less and less farang (or Thai translator who are interested in doing this kind of job because the payment is so low comparing to other translating (bestseller/popular books or documents etc.) Believe me, I have been doing this job for more than 30 years, I do know. 🙂 Besides, the translator had to have solid background about what he/she is going to translate, too.
    Please contact me via my email address that I registered.
    Thanks.
    And take care!

  3. wanderer63 says:

    Hi Santi.
    Thanks for your email. But I could not reply your email, didn’t know why. I’ll try it again, anyway.

  4. wanderer63 says:

    After I tried to send my email to you more than 10 times, finally it worked! hahaha!
    As for now, (after I sent it about 10 minutes) it still didn’t return to the sender (me.) I think maybe it was because there were some links in my email, so it was rejected from yours as if it was a spam.
    Anyway, my letter was in my attachment. Please open and read it and tell me what you think.
    Cheers!

  5. wanderer63 says:

    Thanks for your reply.
    Because this is public. Someone might misunderstand my post above, so let me post my reply email to you here, too.
    No, no. I meant it’s ok. I know it’s not convenient for you to reach internet (because of your retreat/area you live as you told.) I only meant that my emails came back to me after I sent because it could not reach your email address. I knew after I tried something (wrote my message in word document and attach it to my sending email) that it was because I added some links on internet and made it looked like spam.
    Take your time. I can wait. 🙂

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