As a bee seeks nectar from all kinds of flowers seek teachings everywhere. Like a deer that finds a quiet place to graze seek seclusion to digest all that you have gathered. Like a mad one beyond all limits go where you please and live like a lion completely free of all fear.
-- dzogchen tantra
The medieval French village of Samois-Sur-Siene, 45 minutes west of Paris by train, is a bit grey and damp today. Its 48 degrees latitude, to Seattle's 47. I could have been daydreaming due to sleep deprivation or disorientation, somewhere between a full moon, a big time change and watching over a sick baby. Nevertheless, I saw a wild boar run across my path this afternoon. He dashed out of the forest and rooted along the roadside not fifteen feet in front of me.
I was head down, pushing a stroller with nephew "Jiggy" aboard. We bumped along the cobbled street when I heard the boar Jiggy shouted and I froze. I looked up to see black bristly creature snort lustily then wheel around into the forest as if he hadn’t even noticed us.
“C’est un gros cochoain!” Jiggy shouted as we threw open the door and recounted our tale to my sister.
In its own unique way, France spans contrasts of wildness and restraint. I'm impressed with the architectural hegemony of this quaint stone village and the Haussmanien buildings of Paris: mansard-roofs and sandstone walls march and down the city streets like court subjects all in a row. Along the street, stout trees wield short clubbed arms of identically pruned branches, flat as fans across the top. What it is like for the tree to be restrained like that? Its not like the strain of a spruce that leans out to the sea, holding rock for dear life in the fist of its roots.
Back to the wild pig. “In fact, the village is within in a huge forest. There are lots of wild animals here,” Molly Lou reminds me. The kings built Chateau Fontainbleau to enjoy riding and hunting in the forest."
As I massage my sister's forehead later, we both drift off, far from our familiar. I am far from home, far from my plan, far from the camper where I’ve slept securely for weeks. Far from my yoga mat, my studio and far from my own particular daily dressage, but all of this is nothing. My sister spoke today of feeling cut off from her body, cut off at the waist. Each day is of recovery is weighted by exhaustion. Sometimes its hard, truly hard to know if healing is happening. Its hard to trust we are on a productive path. I think of the the boar, who doesn’t run on paths. It runs headlong as one lean muscle. The boar makes is path and roots his way forward freely, unafraid.