Dear Zen Friend
1) February sesshin: from 02/10 to 02/14.
2) In early spring, snow melts and maple sap runs. The sap tastes sweet. Spring brings heaven to earth year after year.
All the snow melt quickly. Rivers are flooded with seasonal water. Water in hills and forests run toward lower places. Brooks become roaring waterways.
Valley Zendo happens to be located in the middle of waterways. Water from deep forests gather at the buildings of zendo.
For long time we did not know what to do with the overflowing water. So melted and rained water went into soil under back and front yards. Gardens in front yard could not be walked onto till June because soil became too muddy. Two thirds of parking lot could not be used due to the same reason.
Eight years ago I dug a trench in the back yard for diverting water. In the following spring, lot of water ran through the trench. I was amazed to see how water was running down like a waterfall. Spring flood to zendo yards ended. I walked on the gardens without worrying about mud. With additional underground water pipes, parking lot has been used all seasons since.
Zendo also had troubles with too many mosquitoes and bugs in spring and summer. By cutting surrounding trees, number of those insects substantially decreased. A dry land project for ten years is a success. We have come to enjoy comfortable environments.
Last year I planted baby apple trees….
To be continued.