Here below are extracts from two separate emails sent from Edmonton congregation members. The first person lives on the north side of town. And the second person lives south of the river, right on Whyte Avenue in the hustle and bustle, with his recently adopted dog. Both extracts are here with permission.
North side news:-
"Summer in Edmonton has been wonderful this year. Of course, to really appreciate this beautiful weather you have to ignore all nagging thoughts that global warning is alive and well on the Canadian prairies. We have had numerous and continuous days of blissful warmth with a few very hot days thrown in for flavour. We have even had a bit of rain but even so I think our yard is actually getting quite dry. The temperature has dipped down a bit, a few times nothing serious, certainly no danger of frost but just enough to signal the trees that fall may be coming. As a result, you can see the odd leaf or even tree taking on its autumn hue.
We have a lake near to our house that is a major gathering place for the Canada Goose as it migrates. Every year, in the spring and fall, they congregate on the lake and take a pause in their journey. In the peak of the migration schedule there are hundreds and hundreds of Canada Geese on the lake. They seem to arrive in droves in the morning and leave in droves in the evening just as the sun is going down. They often fly directly over our house, masses of them, honking in unison. It is a particularly wonderful experience to go down to the lake and sit with them in the evening. One goose will start up and then another will join in and before long there are great numbers of them calling to each other. The energy builds and builds and builds until it seems that, like some huge engine that has been stoked, finally enough energy and momentum has been built and then they take off, like a squadron of airplanes on the runway, one after another, maybe fifty, maybe a hundred at once. It is a particularly remarkable experience if you are lucky enough to be right underneath them as they fly off. The whirr of all of those marvelous wings is a sight and sound to truly behold. I have not yet gone down to the lake this year, but go down I must. It is a gift that must be accepted and appreciated."
Mean while on the south side:-
"Little miss Jazzy according to her previous parent (owner) has a severe aversion to clothes and has never taken to them. I tried even putting a bandana on her and she was having none of it, it can fun just getting the harness on, although she is getting better with that since she did use a harness when she was young. It is just really getting it over the foot that causes her some issues now.
She is creating many smiles in the building that I am in especially some of the chronically ill or handicapped tenants. Since I am by the hospital here I walk her by their and she visits with people who are out for fresh air and brings out a lot of smiles.
We are starting a dog play hour in the common room so that the tenants dogs can get together offleash and socialize which will be nice when winter comes (if it comes this year!)."
So that's it. Geese honking on mass and "Jazzy the Snorter", as she is dubbed, bringing a little pleasure into the lives of less able people. I particularly like the idea of off-leash time in the common rooom. One can only imagine how that might go! Well, one would hope well.
To-day I met a young woman from Edmonton who had made a stop on her way to San Francisco to visit Shasta Abbey and attend the festival ceremony for Great Master Dogen. A ceremony to offer gratitude for Zen Master Dogen's great legacy that has been handed down to us.
As in Edmonton so also here. The feel of summer moving into fall and winter approaching.
Be well. Be content within that which is Unchanging.