Sweet Times

Satya gave me a massage yesterday afternoon.  She’s our massage therapist and has been rubbing Jody and me the right way for months.  I spent the whole hour reminiscing about my times on retreat at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts.  I retraced everything right from the moment I kissed Jody goodbye and set off down the driveway in Hugo.  The hills of Richmond, Ontario, the bridge across the Welland Canal in Port Colborne, talking to the border guard in Buffalo, getting lost in Buffalo and asking for directions, the American flags hanging from homes in New York State, lunch at the little cafe in Seneca Falls, the gift shop in Skaneateles, the creeping vine on the power line over the road near Bridgewater, dinner at Babe Macaroni’s in Utica, phoning Jody from the classic old train station, walking in downtown Utica after dark, dreaming of tomorrow as I lay on my bed at the Red Roof Inn, breakie at Denny’s, getting lost in Albany and asking for directions, the steep climb through the woods to the Massachusetts border, the cutesy homes of North Adams, the view and conversation on the balcony of the Golden Eagle Restaurant with the Berkshire Mountains spread all around, the winding country roads leading southeast towards Barre, eating a Rocky Road waffle cone in a little downtown park, my first glimpse of the IMS retreat centre, walking up the driveway from the parking lot, being greeted by IMS volunteers, unpacking in my wee room, eating supper with 100 other retreatants at long tables and not knowing what to say, sitting for the first time in the meditation hall, doing walking meditation on the driveway, listening to the teachers, brewing a cup of tea and sitting on a bench outside with the stars overhead, walking to my room, lying down, the moment of sleep …

And a very large etcetera

At the end of my massage, I was warm and cozy, inside and out.  Such a beautiful thing – memories.  My head has been trained to stay in the here and now, and I know that’s wise.  To fall into the moment, knowing that whatever’s happening, on one level it’s all fine.  I know that there’s danger in leaning forward in life, trying to put pleasant boundaries on a totally mysterious future.  Or taking past experiences and trying to replicate them in the present.  Still …

I think I’ll always allow myself to relive precious moments from my history.  Why exclude anything?  My lips still smack when I think of artichoke dip and pita chips, the world’s most overflowing strawberry shortcake, and a glass or two of local beer at the Golden Eagle.  Yum.

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