This sort of exercise gives the lie to the 'all humans are created equal' theory: the steps up the steep track are clearly designed for those with long legs. So, with much patience I plodded wearily behind the dogs - felt the organ pipes were a bit of a disappointment and continued to march on up past Mt Butters and then on to Mt Cargill. On the way Dunstan discovered a detour which took him into mud that I unwisely followed him through. It was thick and dense stuff that oozed up over the boots - and the track led nowhere except to a gravel heap for track maintenance. Mac was wiser - and took time to contemplate things - as the photo shows.
Below the organ pipe rock-fall it was interesting to see the natural 'rockery' being formed. I studied it with some real pleasure. Not least because it was an excuse to stop and catch my breath.
At the top of Cargill we greeted a young couple who had come up the easy way, driving up Cowan Road. I greeted them with the smugness of the virtuous who had walked - mixed with the envy of one who had to get down again (oh my knees!).
Monday's solitary walk is a great way to process the events of Sunday. The reception to changes in the apse had been very positive but useful suggestions for refinement had been forthcoming.
All the way snippets of other Sunday conversations ran through my mind.
- Can one be a Christian and practise Buddhist meditation? Why not? Plenty of examples of Christians who have gone along that path - not the least being Thomas Merton. I remember from my own time in Hong Kong the fruitful conversations held with Buddhist practitioners of meditation; also that cross I own from that environment - it shows the cross with the lotus at its base.
- Then there was that intriguing question about whether the Genesis stories of the Creation and Fall can be read literally. I floundered a bit in that conversation because I cannot read them literally and they are not meant to be read as science - and a strict literalism creates more problems than it answers. However the question was a very intelligent one and it was related to the necessity of the atonement. Not by any means a framework for a casual conversation - so I suspect we will need to revisit that chat. However it does remind me that how we read scripture and how our faith grows is never static but always a dynamic process - wherever one stands in the theological/spiritual spectrum that holds true.
Some hours later and back in the city, a pub lunch of cod and chips with an icy pint of Tui - not a bad way to celebrate the sense of Spring.