For at least forty five weeks in the year, I am in the zendo six mornings a week, and out on my bike the other, so when interim rolls round I am usually ready for a break, especially coming after a sesshin, and a month when days off were pretty hard to come by.
But first there was another visit to Green Gulch for the Coming of Age group yesterday. It was a fine morning, and I had plenty of post-sesshin energy, and joy at being out and about again, and I was also feeling quite mellow around the boys, who were their usual boisterous selves, though once again I appreciated the conversation we had around the precepts towards the end.
There was also the matter of the monthly Suzuki Roshi memorials, which I knew would be sparsely attended. It turned out that I was doshi for both last night's and this morning's ceremonies, which I hadn't expected, and which I don't really feel senior enough to do, but faute de mieux...
I enjoyed doing them, especially as I had noticed being a little sad not to have the opportunities to be doshi during sesshin, and did my best to honour the formality of the occasions. One thing I did notice was that the statue we have in the kaisando, which is not universally loved - I have heard it said more than once that none of the commemorative artwork we have around the building really captures his spirit, mostly being too solemn and not catching the twinkling eye - is much more effective when you are standing in front of it for a few minutes: there is a way the eyes focus on you that I hadn't expected.
That done, and the weather being fine, I was itching to go out and ride, and I had all the fun I could possibly ask for, warm weather, no wind, quiet roads, wildflowers, birds, seals, as well as much evidence of rain damage on the roads. It felt like spring, and I can still feel the sun on my face. It was nice to have an unstructured afternoon, and to attend to some of the accumulated piles of things in my room.
I'll throw in a couple of photos to prove that I am still waking up pretty early, and that I am enjoying rediscovering the manual controls on my camera: