Our conditional use permit process has moved forward to the point of Ventura County acknowledging that our application is complete. We have one hurdle still to clear, which is the holding of a public hearing to go over any remaining issues, if there are any, and give the permit its final seal of approval. We don’t know yet when this will take place, but the county has indicated it will probably be in May. Our thanks to Jack Collings for dealing with the vast majority of the paperwork and back-and-forth throughout this process.
In late December we had a few visitors for the end of year retreat, and our lay resident, Adrian Cuevas, asked to stay on in the temple during the month of January, when we are normally closed. He helped Rev. Seikai build a shelving unit for the utility room of the Dharma House, which was finished in late January, and did a maintenance job on all of the hill trails, which is close to a mile of trail. Then in February, Adrian decided to return to his family in Texas and we bid him farewell.
After a wet early winter, January and February were the driest on record in California history. It simply didn’t rain more than a few drops during the time of year when the state typically gets most of its rainfall. This seemed an ominous sign with respect to the upcoming wildfire season. But, as sometimes happens, the month of March has brought with it some substantial rains—and some snow at our altitude. Our three snowfalls are more than we’ve had in quite a few years. And the stars of our ever-changing resident bird population this winter have been the meadowlarks. We’ve had a large flock of them cruising over the fields, and their joyful singing has been up-cheering.
We had a nice gathering of people at the temple on March 8 for the usual Sunday events and then a potluck to celebrate Rev. Phoebe’s birthday. The food was great, we wish Rev. Phoebe many more years of good health, and bow in gratitude for her continued sharing of the Dharma with all who come to the temple.Our upcoming Spring Retreat has been canceled and Jennifer, who misses coming to the temple for that, had made a drawing of our kitten Ivy, “spending time at the temple” while doing that. Anyone who has temple related artwork, please feel free to send it in and we will put it out here, with joy and gratitude.