Being at TRC without retreats is a new feeling. The mind must find a subject to occupy it. Usually I have something to think about after the mindfulness teachings or practice, then lunch or dinner. Then back at it again. There is a clear cut shedule.

Now that there are no retreats, I have learnt to appreciate the gift of sound. Sound is interesting, especially the fact that we often aren’t aware of the value it has. Thank goodness for the roofs being fixed. I never thought I would appreciate the sound of a hammer hitting against wood. In the early days of arrival, I would wonder where the sound came from. I sat still and listened; first I thought the dining area, but I didn’t see anything when I arrived. Then I thought Brenda’s house, but I didn’t see any action there either. Then I thought; what’s the one place that isn’t entirely visible when you arrive? The Octagon!

Bernard and Elias are here for three weeks to do some much needed maintenance for TRC. First they fixed the Octagon’s roof. After a week or so they moved on to the Ma Kang, the Mother House. Sections of the gutters were skew, some had such terrible rust that no metal was left. The gutters were cleaned, painted, and reinstalled.

Lastly, they moved into Mam’ Trish’s house, so she moved to the Brown House. The effort involved in moving is always painful. There is no pleasure, nothing to look forward to but boxing, packing, removing, unpacking, sorting, the works! Other times it involves throwing away, because while unpacking you realise you don’t need certain things. Either way, it’s a pain. Right now, because of the rain, there have been some delays. However, Bernard and Elias have a diligent system, so that even on rainy days, there is work that’s being done. The Octagon’s roof is finished, and I am excited to see how Mam’ Trish’s roof looks after the work on it has been done!

Written by Mokgadi Sekete