The morning had some interesting and funny moments. First, my dad pointed out that the lilies he had planted for my mom awhile ago suddenly died. He has never been a very "woowoo" type, but he clearly thought this was freaky. Then he started talking about the weather, and how it had been pretty overcast and chilly the entire time I have been here (which is really weird for this time of year) but how it was clear and beautiful just during the funeral. So I say to my dad, "Well I guess mom is up there nagging God. If anybody could nag him into changing the weather, it would be her." He thought that was pretty funny. :)
The rest of the day was a mixture of frustrating and nice. Sarah has been getting into all sorts of alternative spirituality stuff lately, and has been reading a big encyclopedia style book lately. The other day she did that thing where you open to a spot to see what message it has for you, and it was something from the Upanishads. It immediately made me think of the Lake Shrine on Sunset, especially since she lives so close to it. It hit me all at once that she really needed to go there. I haven't been leaving my dad at home alone much, but I thought this was important. I used to go there all the time when I was at UCLA if I was sick or sad. I also told her about the Ananda community and that Orion was going to be going to their preschool in Portland in the fall.
So what was frustrating? The fact that we had set up a meeting time and I couldn't get Sarah on the phone! I went to "the ghetto mansion" first, where she said she was going to be, but I didn't get an answer on Josh or Katie's phone, and nobody was answering their buzzer system. So I figured I would drive over to Josh's just to kill time, and I wasn't sure if maybe he was staying there and I was going to have to get him anyway. Same deal. Still no answers and then I couldn't find Josh's name on the directory. Argh! So I started heading back to TGM. At this point I was getting pretty annoyed. I had already left several voice and text messages, and I left one final one saying if I hadn't heard from somebody by the time I got back there, I was heading back to Simi.
Sarah finally called, and sure enough, they had just been asleep after a stressful late night. Damn kids. But there was no point in being bent out of shape and ruining the rest of the day, so I just headed over to pick them up. Katie had hurt her ankle pretty badly the night before, so she couldn't come, although she had wanted to, so we headed out with Sarah and Josh.
It was cool to be back here after so many years! It wasn't quite the calming and meditative experience I used to have with Orion running around, but it was still awesome. Sarah loved it and saw the potential despite the distraction. :) She even called Katie and told her they should come here every day. And she picked up some flyers about the services, which are at a temple even closer to where she lives.
The first thing we spied and thought Orion would like were all the turtles in the lake. See the little mama and baby on the rock? So cute.
This is part of the Mahatma Gandhi World Peace Memorial. There are actually a portion of Gandhi's ashes here - I believe the only place in the US.
A Kwan Yin close up.
Sarah reading the sign.
View of the lake from the Memorial.
There are lots of little religious figures hidden away on the hillsides, including this Krishna.
And there are signs like this all around the lake as well.
The Memorial from the other side of the lake.
The swans on the lake are really tame because there are a couple places they leave food out for them for visitors to feed them. They will eat right from your hand. The food was mostly gone, but we found a couple pieces in the crevices to hand over.
Buddha on the hill.
Another view of the Memorial from the rose garden.
Part of the Court of Religions. There is a pillar for each of the major religions with a symbol. Sarah had to get a shot of her Om tat next to the Om symbol.
My close up
Little Mary grotto in the sunken garden.
We stopped in at the gift store on the way out and picked up a few things. I got Orion a flute, Sarah got a couple books, and we both got the same Om brass hanging with little bells. We stopped back at TGM so Sarah could cook up some of her famous pasta, and then we finally got back on the road to Simi. Long day, but I am really glad we went.