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  • Writer's pictureCassie Stockamp

Cadence and brownies....

Ok, I did it. I was with some new friends the other night talking about the Blue Portch. Yes, that’s how it’s spelled on the sign. I think it’s supposed to read Blue Patch, as it looks out over the ocean, but everyone else is convinced it should read Blue Porch - lol! Regardless, we were talking about the brownies and ice cream on the menu and they confessed to loving the brownies. Now one thing you gotta’ know about this very hip couple from Vancouver is that they have traveled all over the world. The point is I trust their recommendation. So... I woke up thinking about that brownie as I haven’t had anything remotely that sweet since I left... And I did it. I had brownies and ice cream for breakfast. We’ve all read the quote that says something to the affect to eat desert first as life is too short... Well by god I did it, and almost went into a sugar induced coma for the next 3 hours and my stomach wasn’t too terribly happy about it either. L. O. L!! Life is too short, but... I probably won’t do that one again!!

It has been interesting to be in between volunteer gigs and be a tourist again. I get the vantage point of being on the other side and watch the holiday tourists rush to each attraction so they don’t lose a minute of their hard earned vacation. I remember doing the same thing. It’s all different now, and I walk. It takes a bit longer but the slow cadence suits me. I look and smell and feel the road under my sandals and see the faces of the locals as we nod a greeting.

I’m staying with local families and breakfast is served in the dining room, and after it’s been served the wife leaves me to eat in peace. I often become invisible under the shroud of language. The husband and wife take their breakfast in the kitchen, and I hear the cadence of conversation between the married couple. I pick up the tone, change of speed and increase in decibels even through the language barrier. I wonder if they are gossiping about the neighbors, worrying about their kids or ranting about politics. I love hearing the slow morning flow of conversation as the day starts and feeling the bond between two people that has been created through years of routine....

The other morning the television was on during breakfast. It was a novelty to watch third world TV, and I have always been enamored with commercials, even in another language. There were copious ads for jello and what looked like Wonder Bread - sliced white bread. I felt like I was watching TV from the 1950’s, and then I got a little frustrated. I emailed a powerful friend and asked what information our government is sharing with this and other emerging third worlds? We know the impact of processed and fast food on the long term health of our citizens... They don’t have to follow in our footsteps do they? Convenience has a price and it feels like we paid for it in the US and have continued to pay for it over the decades. I’m sure bigger minds than mine are grappling with this, or at least I hope they are.

My home stay family in Midigama was a kind couple. The husband is a tuk tuk driver and the wife is the English speaker and manages the home stays. She asked a lot of questions about retirement and if the government supports the people, if my daughters will take care of me or if I would go to a retirement home... They don’t have children and I can see the worry in her eyes as she thinks about what’s next for them. As she talked she spoke of her sisters and their families and mused that they might include them as they grow old. I asked her if she had talked to them about it, and she smiled a thin smile and shook her head no...

There is always that little “aha” when I am nudged to remember that we all have the same needs regardless of nationality - to be loved, to be fed, to be housed...

And I thought I would deepen my spiritual practices in this gentle, safe Buddhist country; I have made my way into numerous temples looking for that place to meditate and connect. It seems that Buddhism is so incorporated into their every day life, that they don’t spend much time at temple or Sangha. Their life is the practice - as it should be.... I’m watching and learning .

Carry on my friends.

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