Tues. Oct. 2/07
Nature is always astonishing! This morning’s japa walk took Jiva and I to the Malecon once again. Though there is a slight breeze, sea waves crash against the sea wall and spill over with extended spray to hit two lanes of traffic.
Near the city of Matanzas nature there attracts tourists to the Bellamar cave. Jiva’s brother-in-law drove us there. A short history is that the Spanish proprietor of a piece of land had his Chinese hired hand, Mr. Wong, do some work and in the process his iron bar fell into a pit. The proprietor found enough courage to climb down and discover a wonder of crystal magic as he lit his torch. That was in 1861. As we climbed down our eyes captured a surreal appearance of pillars of lime and other deposits, stalactite and stalagmite. Some formations were hanging as if chandeliers a few meters long. Apertures leading to more darkness gave the distinct feel of another world. One large hole looked as if the sage, Vyasa, might be sitting silently inside. Three pools of spring water represent immortality; the pursuit of love, and the last is for those who dip in to take a sip and may be granted a divorce. Only the first pool may have some appeal for a monk who wishes to remain as one.
Matanzas is an old city of Spanish colonial charm. You go back in time. And like all of Cuba the old models of cars particularly from the 40’s renews nostalgia. How does a Hare Krishna monk fit into all of this? Well, it doesn’t seem to be a problem for people here or in Matanzas or Havana. The folk just have a built in piety. In the morning as I sat outside of the guest house clad in my swami garb waiting for Jiva, a woman in well overdone make up stopped at my spot, spoke something in Spanish and handed over a Cuban three pesos bill. “Gracias”, I replied