June 6, 2014
– Country living discoveries:
We recently moved from an apartment to a home with a half-acre of land and a creek running the western border. I call it country living, though really, it’s not out-in-the-boondocks country. A half mile away is a major intersection and freeway exit, with every big box store imaginable (except for a Barnes & Noble…apparently reading is not financially supported out here). Still, it’s more country than I’m comfortable with. The city rat in me would prefer a Detroit riverfront apartment or condo, close to where the action is, or a college town like Ann Arbor, bustling with people with a bevy of book stores. Thus far in our brief residency, we’ve had some interesting situations and discoveries.
For one, the trees we have are epic. There’s one out front that was a late bloomer, but she’s huge and generous with shade in the front of the house. In the back, a large maple occupies substantial real estate. Then there are the lilacs. Deep purple ones toward the back, and lighter ones along the creek near the driveway that provide a nice fragrance carried by a spring breeze as you enter or exit the car.
Then, there’s the wildlife. A rabbit has been seen often scampering across the back yard. Toads in the patch of landscaping on the side of the mother-in-law house. Then, a couple of robins occupied a nest atop the front porch light, hatching two little babies. They’ve since grown and moved on.
And of course, squirrels, including one brave soul who decided to climb the side of the house and perch on the window sill of my office. I’ve since dropped some nuts outside the window, but there has not been a return visit. Yet.
I hear this is the month for turtles to be nesting. Maybe we’ll get lucky to see them, too.
Oh, and the mosquitoes. They have made their appearance known. I foresee a future purchase of a bat house to help with that problem. Bats are in the area. My wife saw one during one of the first evenings we moved in.
However, with the abundance of life also comes death. A few days ago I had the window open in the office. As the breeze passed by, there was this feint foul odor that would occasionally drift by. On Tuesday, when my mother-in-law entered the mother-in-law house for the first time as a resident, after spending better than two weeks in the hospital, my wife and I took the garbage out to the curb. On the way back, the stench hit us, like a wall, in one specific location. It was so noticeable that the guy delivering the oxygen tanks and hospital bed for mother-in-law asked “Am I too late?” The aroma was strongest near the well next to the creek. We peeked inside, but it was empty. It has to be something down in the creek. Since then the fragrance of death has faded. Locals to the area suggest it may have been a muskrat.
It’s only been five weeks. It will be interesting to see how things change as the seasons change.
– The Precepts.
Sunday morning at Still Point Zen Buddhist Temple will be this year’s Precept Taking and Abbot Installation Ceremony. It is a ceremony for individuals who commit to undertake the Buddhist path by embracing the Three Refuges and Eight Precepts. The participants in the ceremony are then given a Buddhist name and a set of meditation beads.
Having moved yet further away from my spiritual home makes regular attendance a challenge. Sitting alone is good. Sitting with a group in the presence of a guiding teacher helps strengthen one’s practice. Like the Buddha’s Birthday ceremony and the evening sitting in honor of the Buddha’s awakening, the Precept Ceremony is a must-attend event for me. I make that commitment for two reasons; to support those who are participating in the ceremony, and, for personal reflection and re-commitment of when I took the Precept Ceremony on May 18, 2008.
-Detroit City FC host the Erie Admirals tonight at Cass Tech Stadium. Special jerseys to recognize the “You Can Play” project to support LGBT athletes will be worn and auctioned at the conclusion of the match. The anticipation is for another sell out. City Til I Die.
Quote: “Everything I know about morality and the obligations of men, I owe it to football (soccer).” Albert Camus.