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Shelter from the drizzle

A lovely image comes to mind whenever I remember the tree planting day at Hokyoji. (pines behind the residence, 1979) I was up on the hill for hours on hole digging duty, with others following behind placing the tree seedlings in the holes and covering them with dirt. It was a miserable, cold,¬†drizzly day, yet as we worked doing the same thing over and over…silence and peacefulness.

Later we huddled around a smoky fire in the light drizzle – as no buildings had as yet been built. Most of us had rain gear of some sort, including Katagiri-roshi, who wore a large, bright yellow rain jacket.Tomoe-san had nothing. She stood shivering by the fire, looking miserable. Suddenly Hojo-san silently opened his jacket wide and Tomoe scurried over and disappeared inside as roshi protectively closed his jacket over her. It was a tender moment that made me smile.

Karen Van Auken