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Friday, September 7, 2012

Just Add Dharma

The following photographs depict an afternoon at Westwind, Oregon. We had a small amount of free time from our Buddhist retreat schedule so we spent it exploring caves and interesting tide pools along the shore.
 I will let my readers enjoy the bliss and ease of the life in the photos below.

*A little passage about a present personal struggle can be found after the photo series for any curious readers.

Tabitha--having spotted a hole in the rocks leading to secret tide pools.
Mistaya and friend.
Tabitha on her way to explore a magical path to the sea.
Miranda, Tabitha and Anemone explore tide pools.
Brilliantly coloured sea anemone.
Tabitha making her way through the cave to the ocean's edge where Miranda and Nem explore tide pools.

Me--the ocean is so cold at this particular spot on the Northwest Pacific Coast--just stepping in the water up to my knees for a minute caused excruciating pain. It's a very windy place on the coast and the current is from deep in the ocean. Thus, the water is much colder than that off the BC coast.
Nem, braving the water!
Nem and Miranda--hurrying to find their way back to the beach--we're late for the next retreat activity!
These photos depict a lifestyle much needed right now in my life. The first week back to school/lessons for my daughters is always exhausting. In the old days, parents didn't fret about providing each and every child with unlimited mental, spiritual and physical stimulus. Most of their kids were lost in the shuffle: clothed, fed, loved and at times ignored--families were big, life was hard.
Today we believe each and every child must have a parent's full attention to their every need. It's a balancing act. I am barely keeping on the beam with three children--I could not parent the way I do with even one more. I want no one to be left out in the shuffle of modern life. 

And then there is the constant struggle to get one of my children to eat a healthy diet. She is gluten intolerant, very thin and often gets sick. Her picky eating is a constant source of stress for me. 

Dare I cry the word HELP? I cry it, but in the end it involves me helping myself: trying, reworking, meditating, trying, reworking, meditating, never giving up trying to walk that balance beam.

My children's extra curricular week looks like this (and I know we don't do as much as many families!):
Mist: piano, 2 dance, school band.
Tabs: choir, soccer, piano and school band.
Pip:guitar, soccer and skating.
*As well, I plan to take them down hill skiing each Saturday when the season starts. 
**not to mention fitting in my own work/ exercise/ extra curricular schedule, and working around Peter's too.

And I like to have a family supper each night--this year we'll eat at about 7:30 to ensure we can all make it to the table. But since I am driving all over the city to lessons, I'll have to prepare our meal at about 2:30 each afternoon and put it in a slow cooker for the evening. 

This life style would work if I employed a cook/nanny/housekeeper. But I do not have one of those much needed persons. 
Modern Life? What's it good for? More Dharma please!

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