Book Club Recap: April 2017

“Live. For Now. For the time being.”

Time. It seems to be both elusive and abundant these days. Hours pass by like minutes as I play with Evie. We babble back and forth and I endlessly dance and sing and make silly faces just to make her laugh. When she cries, time slows and it feels like hours before she calms. The nights go on for days as I wake every few hours to feed her. When she falls asleep on me I cling to every nanosecond.

When Laura chose A Tale for the Time Being for April’s book club pick, I was excited to revisit one of my all-time favorite books. The timing was perfect. I was ready to jump back into the club and get out for a hike with my book club friends. We headed to Goose Rock at Deception Pass. It was a rare sunny day in this epic winter / spring of rain. Our spirits were high as we climbed and crossed under the famous bridge.

We continued through the forest sprinkled with the rusty brown of Madrone trees and took a detour out onto the open meadows to see what flowers we would find. There weren’t as many as there would normally be this time of year, but we did find some red paintbrush, spring gold, a few camas, and a checker lily. My favorite part of the meadows, though, is the glow of the sage-colored reindeer lichen.

The trail dips a bit and then climbs to our destination, Goose Rock. We had the rock all to ourselves and we made ourselves at home as we spread out and chatted about the book. Laura thoughtfully brought a thermos of genmaicha, a lovely Japanese rice tea to go along with the theme of the book, and some delicious chocolate chip cookies. I was in heaven as I enjoyed these treats. Evie was content and enjoying her dose of Vitamin D and we lingered for a while. We discussed our theories about the book and read some of our favorite quotes. We all enjoyed the character Jiko, the main character’s zen Buddhist grandmother who talked of “supapowas!” and offers prayers of gratitude to the toilet: “As I go for a dump / I pray with all beings / That we can remove all filth and destroy / The poisons of greed, anger and foolishness.”

The “supapowa!” Jiko was trying to instill in her granddaughter was the ability to be in the now, to wake up to her life in the present moment and to stop living in the past. As we sat on the Rock and looked out to the Puget Sound with the sun shining on us, I did my very best to be as present as possible in that happy moment. In a time where it is so easy to escape the present by spending time on our phones and devises, I am determined to be a Time Being, in the here and now. As a mother, I hope to ever stride toward harnessing this supapowa! and passing it on to Evie.

“When you beat a drum, you create NOW, when silence becomes a sound so enormous and alive it feels like you’re breathing in the clouds and the sky, and your heart is the rain and the thunder.”

Jiko, A Tale for the Time Being

 

I am very aware of the privilege I have that allows me to spend time with my baby in the outdoors and I am eternally grateful for all of it. I must remember gratitude. Thank you book club friends, thank you Goose Rock. Thank you tea and chocolate chip cookie. Thank you book, thank you Ruth Ozeki. Thank you trail and those who built this trail. Thank you tree and flower and Baby Bjorn carrier and car and roads and…

Anyone else love this book as much as me?

Read this interview with the amazing Ruth Ozeki

Watch this fascinating documentary about Origami and its relationship to nature

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2 Replies to “Book Club Recap: April 2017”

  1. Loved this book too! Very much. Spoke to me on many levels. As you were on Goose Rock, I was sitting most of the afternoon in a Zen retreat, trying to cultivate being present to take out into the world as well. Sorry it conflicted with a beautiful hike, genmaicha tea, cc cookies, and good company. Hope to join you in May. Sweet post as usual.

  2. Okay, Laura told me how much she likes this book and after reading this I have no option but to read it. 🙂 Also, yay, for baby hikes!

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