General

Leaving Whistler

I can’t remember the last time I received a proper Hallmark Birthday Card, obviously carefully selected and signed, but tonight I did and accompanied by Lindt Excellence Dark Noir and Supreme Dark 90% Cacao, which can’t be bad.

Our favourite ski instructor Jim would be 76 the day before my I/D card birthday, and because we are leaving Whistler tomorrow, we decided to have dinner together tonight to celebrate our birthdays. They gave me the card and the chocolates when they walked in. I was touched.

Ski instructor positions in Whistler are very much sought after; so that those who have tenure would not give it up for as long as they live. In the course of our stay in Whistler Blackcomb, we have come across quite a few instructors most of whom are rather interesting and have fascinating stories to relate. Take Josh for example, whom we met today on our last skiing day this season. He was barely 25 and had just qualified as a Level Three Instructor six weeks before. Su found out that they graduated from the same university in UK and that he had been accepted by the Law School in Sussex. We had a great day skiing at Blackcomb and both sides knew well whether and when we would meet again, either in Whistler or elsewhere. Indeed, that could well be what many of the 1,500 instructors have to face every year this time towards the end of the skiing season. They don’t know when they would see their students again. It was thus that we said farewell and goodbyes to the instructors we knew this morning, with handshakes and hugs where appropriate, both sides hoping that they would meet again. It gave meaning to incidents we witnessed when an instructor ran into a past student on the slope and afterwards told us what transpired between them.

It was thus we had our last skiing day in Whistler when the weather suddenly changed with snow, sleet and hail hurling at us at times and sunshine piercing through the clouds afterwards. We had had bright sunny days with blue sky and summer weather for a week.

Such is the nature of what one should expect in this world of impermanence. I mentioned our attachment to the belongings we collected over our life in my last letter; but this morning I received from a friend – let us called her TT – a beautiful message which she asked to be shared with everyone. It is not exactly original, for I had read it somewhere before, but I would like to reprint it below for what it is worth.

A man died…. When he realized it, he saw God coming closer with a suitcase in his hand. A dialogue between God and the dead man followed.

God: Alright son, it’s time to go.

Man: So soon? I had a lot of plans….

God: I am sorry, but it’s time to go.

Man: What do you have in that suitcase?

God: Your belongings.

Man: My belongings? You mean my things… Clothes, moneys…

God: Those things were never yours, they belong to the Earth.

Man: Is it my memories?

God: No. They belong to Time.

Man: Is it my talent?

God: No. They belong to Circumstance.

Man: Is it my friends and family?

God: No son. They belonged to the Path you travelled.

Man: Is it my wife and children?

God: No. They belonged to your Heart.

Man: Then it must be my body.

God: No. No…. It belongs to Dust.

Man: Then surely it must be my Soul.

God: You are sadly mistaken son. Your Soul belongs to me.

Man with tears in his eyes and full of fear took the suitcase from God’s hand and opened it.

Empty…

Heartbroken and with tears down his cheek he asks God…

Man: I never owned anything?

God: That’s right. You never owned anything.

Man: Then, what was mine?

God: Your moments. Every moment you lived was yours.

Do Good in every moment. Think Good in every moment. Thank God for every moment

Life is just a moment.

Live it… Love it… Enjoy it… Share it…

TT obviously had meant well. Her upload led to interesting responses, including what you are reading. You are welcome to paraphrase and reload what you have seen or read. Coming so soon after I shared with you that I am somewhat worried about what I am paying to store stuff that I don’t know who would ever want to pick up or when, it adds further food for thoughts indeed, but then one man’s food is another’s poison, as always.

We are leaving Whistler tomorrow, after having spent quite some time here since January. We have yet to figure out the plan for 2017, but the trunk room in our suite is filled up with more stuff, such that we don’t really need to take anything next time we come here. In a way, we have created for ourselves another baggage which would need to be unwound or dealt with sometime somehow by somebody.

On that uncertain note, I would sign off from Whistler and hope to write to you again sometime soon.

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