We woke into November this morning; the thermometer reads 42 F, the clock had to be set back an hour, as we obey the rules of daylight savings time. Our trees are all leafless, and the gold needles of the tamarack coat the pond.
Like geese, we are preparing to leave northern Vermont for the season.
Yesterday, I made the last trip into town to leave our indoor plants for the winter in safe, warm places. Last week, Thurmond transferred about a dozen aloes, spider plants and cacti to Matt and Annica, a lovely young couple who just bought their first home. Our home will be cold and lifeless, as we have chosen Florida for a season. I left our eight foot Norfolk Island Pine Tree at the Barton Public Library (how did this tree get to live my fantasy?) the Christmas cactus, feathery fern and blooming pink vine have spread out in our local banker's big office with the giant window.
When I started leaving for Florida or India each December, our 25 year old cactus began blooming at Thanksgiving, so I could still enjoy her show. This year, she became a Halloween cactus, in full bloom when I deposited her at the bank; how did she know we would be on the road November 14?
Sadness flowed through me as I moved the plants. Not because I am worried about how they will survive the winter or even how I will live without them creating the indoor environment. The sadness was about what the Buddha taught us, about creating our own suffering through attachment. My possession of beauty was now making me sad, because I no longer possess it.
Does this mean our very pursuit of beauty and happiness leads us, inevitably, back to where we started, yearning for beauty and happiness?
I think so. And I think the only way out of this "chasing one's own tail" is to love and appreciate the moment we are in, fully and completely, without any expectations about ongoing ownership or relationship. Now is where it's at.
And soon, our Now will be at Orangewood Lakes, where more trees and plants will bring us beauty and breath. That's what is so wonderful about the Present, we are always provided for.