Friday, August 11, 2006

It's good to be home

After 6 days in Seattle it is good to be back in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

Pike Place Honey

Afternoon cappucinno with the family

It was wonderful seeing friends and catching up with family affairs that you miss over the phone.

The best part of the trip was going to the outdoor cafe at Maximilien (81A Pike Street) in Pike Place Market. It is hidden in the corner by the Market Fish co. (fish throwers) and only locals really know about this relaxed restaurant & bar. It has not only amazing French food and service but one of the best views of Puget Sound. It is a wonderful place to have a cappucino or glass of wine, and watch the ferries come and go while the sun sets.

I was reminded of a few things on my trip - Facial piercing are a way of life and are welcomed in most places; khaki cargo shorts are a staple for men and women along with Tivos sandals; The air is fresh and much drier than the humid northeast; Without the deer problem, flower boxes and yards spill over with incredible beauty; Most people talk on their cell phones while driving in heavy traffic AND often with a cup of coffee or Frappiccino in hand. And, my favorite observation: lots of people ride their bikes to work!!

It is always awkward to go home after being away for so long and I'm still trying to make sense of it. It was 2002 since the last visit to Seattle and I didn't spend much time with my family as this trip. As my friend Connie says, we are now at the age where our parents are starting to have physical ailments and it is up to us to help them manage it. We are now adults whether we like it or not and we need to start behaving that way. It doesn't mean we can't have stupid fun, it just means that there are responsibilities that need to be tended to. I'm not sure if it makes sense, its just a thought I have right now.

Anyone can build a house of wood and bricks, but the Buddha taught that sort of home is not our real home, it's only nominally ours. It's a home in the world and it follows the ways of the world. Our real home is inner peace. An external material home may well be pretty but it is not very peaceful. There's this worry and then that, this anxiety and then that. So we say it's not our real home, it's external to us, sooner or later we'll have to give it up. It's not a place we can live in permanently because it doesn't truly belong to us, it's part of the world. Our body is the same, we take it to be self, to be "me" and "mine," but in fact it's not really so at all, it's another worldly home.

-- Ajahn Chah, in Samuel Bercholz's Entering the Stream
from Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book


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