Adelaide after 30 years away. I do like this city – manageable, navigable, humane, good-natured. Feeling some sense of special occasion, the heart's hidden calendar of beginnings and endings, anniversaries, dates treasured by the soul – it was here, three decades ago, that everything started for us, two gypsies with their collie dogs.
Friday's arrival and Sipra whisks us from what has to be the best, most spacious airport on the planet to the spacious and popular Joy-Discovery vegetarian café in the city for some nourishment – then on to the Centre and a quiet evening.
Waking up early Saturday – outside the dawn gaiety of kookaburras, their parody chortlings and chucklings, caroling magpies and the frenetic cries of parakeets hurtling through the boughs of eucalypts in aerial pursuit, their screechings like pumice scraped over glass. Up into the Adelaide hills, a long slow run at sunrise. "Carry water", warns a sign, and "watch for snakes". From up here, vistas of the sprawling city, huge plains, further away the blue meadows of sea. Fragrance of gum trees and the pale orange earth, summer’s redolence.
Thirty-five people come to Saturday's workshop, all very nice. I tell them the Narada/Vishnu story, 'where is my glass of water?' – its wake up time, remember who we are, why we are really here – and we all laugh at this delightful story. How quickly we find the common things we share, the barriers tumbling down. On Sunday nearly all come back and twelve elect to try the path as disciples. 'Teaching meditation' is a misnomer – it's more a remembering through silence.
We gather on Saturday evening at a Thai restaurant. The disciples are most interesting – two Persian professors, an artist, business managers, enterprise workers, all with interesting stories and remarkable meditation stories. They have a sense of assurance in their connection with Guru, a solidity and maturity undisturbed by the outer world in which they work. New friends to like and to seek out in future.
Monday morning, 2:00am – a loud bang, the house trembles, sitting suddenly bolt upright in bed. A fallen tree, a break-in? Outside a storm is raging, foliage pelting down on to the roof, the tall branches of the gum trees flailing like scimitars. At dawn I find a thigh thick spear of eucalyptus has plowed through the tile and timber roof and ceiling and ended two feet away from my head. Plaster and broken cornice litters the floor – a close shave.
Prior to my afternoon departure Januja and Chakori drive me up to Hahndorf in the hills, a visit to their most beautiful gift store/florist/gallery – Rainbow Heart-Sky. Most stunning, full of beauty and light. Januja slips next door to the deli and buys a big bag of snacks for the plane trip, a gift or two are placed in my bag. Everywhere generous hearts in this starting place of my own journey. My profound thanks to Sipra and her wonderful team for these four most rewarding and happy days.