02.10.15 My living room at 5 p.m. at the start of the second week of February. We were in Sun Valley last week-end for the season’s biggest ski race, and it was cancelled for only the second time in 40 years. There was too much heavy wet snow which downed trees, threatened avalanches, and created roads so treacherous that emergency vehicles slid off. On our drive back home through the Bitterroot Valley, we had the windows partially rolled down to enjoy the warm air.
But, rain came down heavy in the night. Fog and rainy days are forecasted all this week. Some friends who are true students of local weather, said that “winter is over” according to the long-range forecast models. Everybody talks about the weather, and there’s nothin’ you can do about it. And, context is everything. Frank and Mary have finally left New Hampshire for home, having endured brutal sub-zero cold, a nor’easter blizzard, and near-constant snow for an unrelenting two and a half weeks–weather which perfectly aligned with the coldest of griefs in their lives. My family in Berkeley will be thrilled with their hard rains; the grandkids always remind me to turn off the water when I brush my teeth because of the drought. I ran into friends at the grocery store yesterday–skiers–and they are desperate to get out of here for someplace in the southwest. It seems everybody else is heading down to Palm Desert as soon as they pack up the cars. In my house, there is lots of sighing and moaning as we look out to the dismal day.
Awhile back, on a morning I needed it, Sarah reminded me in an email to “sell the goat”. We’ve both been reading Judith Lasater’s book, Living Your Yoga, and in her chapter on the Yoga Sutra 2:26 about Perspective, she tells the story of a villager who lived in a tiny house with his wife, mother-in-law, six children, a cow and some chickens. It was driving him crazy. He went to the rabbi for help and was advised to buy a goat. The man was overjoyed and immediately went to buy a goat. Now, with a wife, the mother-in-law, six children, the cow, the chickens, and a goat, the house was more chaotic than ever. So, he went back to the rabbi for help with the problem and the rabbi said he could solve it. He told the villager to sell the goat. Obediently, he went home and sold the goat, and suddenly, all he had in his small house were his wife, the mother-in-law, six kids, a cow and some chickens. Life was positively peaceful without that goat.