Today I find myself in a house in Bempton (East Yorkshire coast) with my wonderful MAHQ colleagues. We have all taken our lateral flow tests and are together in person for the first time since February last year. It is strange, but amazing to see everyone manifest in 3D rather than on a screen in 2D.
I haven’t been blogging so much over the last couple of months as there hasn’t been much to say. I have moved in to my new home on the east coast of Yorkshire, with my dogs Holly and Nutmeg and am settling in very happily.
I love being by the sea and walk the dogs on the beach each morning. The spacious sky and the rolling sea support me to be joyfully present. The beach is different every morning and the walk down to the beach is within a soundscape of myriad singing birds.
I live near Bempton cliffs and am now a member of the RSPB and walk along the cliffs regularly. I am becoming quite blasé about seeing puffins and gannets up close. Do you like Jacky’s photo of the puffins there? I have bumped into her at Bempton a few times! She lives just up the coast.
There are loads of birds here, swallows, swift’s and sand martins, lots of little migrating birds, sea birds and the usual pretty blue tits, blackbirds and sparrows. I love watching the birds flying. They look so free. And I feel their freedom.
I left Yorkshire 35 years ago. I grew up in the countryside. Playing in the fields, between hedges and trees, with a bird watching father. So a lot of time watching birds whether I wanted to or not!
The main thing that has surprised me is how at home I feel. The sickly sweet smell of the cow parsley, the shape of the horse chestnut trees, the hedgerows of singing birds. The friendly, and often hilariously gruff, Yorkshire voices. It feels like I am in my place.
I am enjoying seeing people after the isolation of living down a track up the road from a Samye Ling that was closed. Even seeing people walk past the front window or drive past I feel a part of the human community. I see my sister Helen and nephew Archie all the time and love being a part of a family.
I am also swimming (bobbing about and chatting) in the sea with Ani Tselha from the Scarborough Samye Dzong twice a week. This is a refreshing and joyful experience – although unlike Ani Tselha I am completely encased in neoprene from the neck down. I am also connecting with other friends from Scarborough, mainly in the sea. So moving here has placed me in a kind and welcoming community of joyful Buddhists.
My life over the last couple of years has been a lesson in impermanence. I would never have thought I would be living back in Yorkshire after 35 years. I never thought I would live by the sea. The decisions to move first to Samye Ling and then here made themselves and felt right. A year of solitude was just what I needed. Now I feel like one of the baby puffins who has jumped off the cliff ledge to soar supported by and navigating the air currents it finds itself in – joyful and free.
Sometimes a feel sad about what has been lost. That is fine. I feel settled enough to hold the sadness. As Chris Martin says in the latest Coldplay song:
My human heart
Only got a human heart
I wish it didn’t run away
I wish it didn’t fall apart
Oh my human heart
Night and day, light and dark
Any day could be torn in half
Only got a human heart
Poignant, sad, but the only way to live fully as a human, heart open, vulnerable. It creates the conditions for joy!
This morning we are working in MAHQ. This afternoon we are walking to the cliffs – an albatross has been spotted and so I hope we will see it. Then to the beach for an ice cream. This evening we have one of Helen’s murder mysteries to do, a takeaway, then an awards ceremony to celebrate our work together over lockdown. Such fun!
So what I have learned. To trust that if I keep going with good intentions and a positive motivation all will work out fine! To not bother planning, as life sorts itself out better if I stop interfering. So far so good!