Friday, May 02, 2014

...the path to enlightenment

Last time I looked, an hour ago (the den has no windows) it was raining, but it's 3 degrees C (37 F) and at that temperature water has a personality disorder and can't decide whether to come down as perfectly acceptable rain (for the second of May) or to have a kick at the can and come down as snow.

Whichever god controls such things, if there be one, could you give us a break and just stick with rain? We need it, we've had a dozen large grassfires in the last couple of days. Last year's waist-high prairie grass is dry as tinder, though the soil beneath it is wet.

The wind gets a spark in her mouth and gallops across miles of countryside, devouring grass, sometimes catching livestock who can't breech a fence, charring the little prairie hens who will hunker down over their nests to protect their eggs, burning barns and occasionally destroying someone's home. Most prairie fires are caused by louts like the ones who caused five separate fires yesterday, riding along shooting Roman candles into the dry grass at the side of the road.

On a more cheerful note, the flowerbeds out front are full of purple crocuses and now the daffodils are beginning to bloom. Only two are in full bloom so far but dozens of spears with fat yellow bulbs are pointing at the sun crying, "My turn next! My turn next!". 

Though I've been down three or four times to pick up the garbage that's blown into the garden I haven't had any further time or energy to spend down there this week, though I can see weeds from here.

On Saturday evening the cold water tap in one of the top floor units blew off and the resident had a geyser on his hands. Since he didn't know how to turn off the water he called the fire dept, who also didn't know how to turn off his water. Thankfully, as soon as the water began to spill through the ceiling into the unit below the owner who lives in that unit ran upstairs. Thankfully she knew where the water shut-off was. I can't imagine living in a place for four years and never looking to see where the water shut-off is! 

Anyway, since I was the only condo board member home it was left to me to call in a contractor to pick up the water and then the company who does our flood repairs to take off the wet baseboards and set up fans. Unfortunately they did not come and tell me there were NO working electrical outlets in the hallways within reach of their fans, something I found out late on Sunday, when an electrician who had never been in the building and a clueless board member (that would be me) spent four hours exploring every mechanical room in the parkade and every storage and utility room on every floor looking for the breakers for the hallway outlets (without any success). Let's just say without further gory details that I walked the entire complex at least 10 times in three days and my legs finally said, "That's it! Do what you will! We're off on holiday! See ya!"

I sat for two days but yesterday had to go to the post office, pharmacy and grocery store. I invited my neighbour, who has no car, to come along. Between post office and grocery store we stopped and had lunch where we ran into an older man we both know. He has mental health issues and was homeless for years after his wife died. He's rather quiet, sweet and timid but he flies into a rage sometimes for the smallest reasons. My neighbour doesn't like him but he and I have a really good connection. He's always been a perfect old-fashioned gentleman with me. I've talked him down from his rages a couple of times and avoided the usual police intervention.

We invited him to join us. He was very pale and looked unwell. He said he'd been in the hospital for 13 days after having surgery and had just been released that morning. We talked and joked as we ate our meals and he really brightened up. Then we had to go. He lives alone, and has little positive feedback in his life. His loneliness and pain are so obvious. I hugged him and wished him better health and told him I hoped we'd see each other again soon. He always tears up when anyone shows him the least kindness.  

Today my legs are on strike again, and I am sitting. The house is a shipwreck. No sense in agonizing over it. I'm not even trying to row. What gets done gets done. What doesn't get done will wait for me. (Ain't that the truth!)  I learned patience by letting go of fretting over what needs to be done and waiting for the time it can be done.

Expectations and attachment to outcome causes heartache, whether it's what you can do or what others do for you. Expect that you will always be able to do exactly what you want, or that other people will always do what you'd like, or what you feel they "owe" you, and you will be continually unhappy.

"Whatever is happening is the path to enlightenment" ~ Pema Chodron


oklhdan said...

Your sweet interaction with your elderly friend made me cry! How fortunate that you understand him and are willing to show him such kindness and friendship! You are such a special person Deb! I'm so happy to have made your acquaintance even if only virtually!!!!

Deb said...

Hi Dani,
His name is Mike which made me think about your Mike. I wish "our" Mike had a loving sister like you to take care of him the way you take care of your Mike.

I'm glad we met too. :)

Hugs from Canada