My time at Harnham was bookended with rain. So much fell at the beginning of the week that the hill was cut off from all directions and the retreat cooks couldn’t get through to make our dinner! With nothing else to think about and against the background of our shared silence, the experience of the rain was much more intense than usual – hearing it, seeing it, getting soaked in it whilst out doing our walking meditation. Everything was very visibly moving and changing – a great teaching.
The burn where I walk was so swollen later in the week you could see whole chunks of earth had been worn away by the current. It felt like a relief when the rain stopped, as if we could all emerge into a place of greater equilibrium, less braced against the elements.
Driving home I passed lots of temporary flood signs on the road and realised that the rain must have caused lots of problems, most of which we’d been oblivious to in our small sanctuary, the monastery like an ark stranded on the hill top. At the weekend it was reported that around 300 homes were flooded in Yorkshire and the North East in the worst autumn storms in three decades.
Not yet having become Buddha
this ancient pine tree