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Sunday, 11 September 2011

ZenRiver Vortex

I purchased the property which has become ZenRiver Gardens six years ago this month. It was a two-part neglected piece of land, a third of an acre on the south bank of the Upper Moira River, and a little over 2/3 of an acre on the north side. Apparently it was the original site of the Malone hamlet mill, and the huge original old millstone is now on display at O'Hara's Mills Conservation Area north of Madoc.

In the spring of 2006 I spent hours wandering among the small sumacs on the north bank, searching for the perfect location for a small cabin. My friend Morley, with help from me as his 'gofer', built the shaman shack in six days.

The feng shui search for the location paid off, as the shack's location fits the desired description for a Buddhist retreat, albeit a very modest one in the case of ZenRiver: it's built on an elevation, with a hill behind (rather than a mountain), facing south towards the river which flows east to west.

Both Morley, Dr. John and I have experienced the same phenomenon many times sitting on the shack's deck - prayer flags are hung on both the west and east sides, as well as along the front, and often the flags on both sides are blowing in opposite directions. The shack seems to be situated in some sort of wind vortex:

ZenRiver vortex
flags flap prayers
east and west

I experienced this qirkiness again this afternoon on a perfect late summer day, more August heat wave than early fall weather. While the flags gently flapped this way and that:

mother mink feeds
aware - unaware
of human eyes

Watching her feeding on grass, diving then reappearing 20 feet closer, my attention was distracted:

across the river
bluejay drinks
and preens

tiny flock
of tiny birds
fall migration?

neighbour fishing
on our bridge:
time for chat

It was a perfect day, and the cold beer and the vibrancy of my companions had placed me in a state of prolonged satori. I'm reminded of Anna Yin's great title, "My Day Goes By Like Haiku". The natural world and I were in perfect sync, and everywhere I glanced became another haiku. Almost too perfect to even bother writing down, but I managed to scrawl these few memories on an old envelope. I went to the back of the shack to pee:

bright red berries
challenge visitors
from the thorn tree

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