Here at Long Branch

March 22, 2020

Here at Long Branch, the deer, turkey and raccoons come to eat 3 times a day. The deer have been coming for at least five generations. Their original mother is Mil. They all have names though I don’t know what they are. Only Seikan’s daughter knows. She’s the one who feeds them. My job is to subsidize their feeding. The turkey food is bought in 40 lb bags and they eat about 1 bag every few days..there are so many, about forty. The deer eat apples (organic only, she tried to give them the one’s sprayed and they wouldn’t eat them), about 14 of them I think. Nowadays we are anxious about if we’ll keep finding organic apples. About the raccoons they only wanted to fight with the turkeys for food, so Seikan built a table for them to the side of the garden where they now dine alone. Last week Tim came and finished building a fence around the garden so the deer will need to walk around now to the front of the house and won’t be allowed to stop and munch on the rose bushes any more.

About Mother Mil, she was shot by a hunter year before last and came and spent the winter under a bush next to the crabapple tree just off my veranda, since she couldn’t walk. I couldn’t walk either, and my mother was dying in NY and it wasn’t sure who would die first, Mil, my mother, or me.

Surprisingly Mil began to recover, and now so am I a little, though I’m very far behind her. My mother went ahead and died as she wished in her own sweet time.

My job now is to keep finding organic apples every week.

This morning we studied about training, and the necessity of facing each object in front of us squarely. These are my objects. Each one of us has their own objects. Training means to respond correctly to each of these objects as they appear, without allowing ourselves to be distracted by our emotion and thought. It is very difficult. There are many forces wishing to distract us from that which is our very life. The only life we have, the one we’ve been given…Whether it is pleasant or unpleasant, whether it is nice or ugly, whether it is painful or enjoyable, its the only one we have… (ref. JL essay, entry 181)

Here at Long Branch

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