Sleeping At The Dock
Coconut Grove, Florida
The plan was to arrive in Miami and trek for a good 7 miles with a group of swami admirers. But I said, "No, thank you. It's terribly hot. It's skin cancer weather." With the humidity factor, one devotee speculated it at 102 degrees farenheit. We are talking about high noon time. Plan B was to take our time and head for Keys Biscayore and its beach for chanting, spiritual inspiration chats and a splash in the ocean. This we fulfilled.
This time in the water was extremely enjoyable, although conversational topics were mixed. A group of us men exchanged words of optimism when one of our faithfully committed people expressed dismay and disappointment at the behaviour of an outsider Vaishnava group that has been proselytizing on the grounds of our centre in Miami. Naturally, we concluded that if there is any show of etiquette at all, then the active group would see to the whole world as a marketplace for converts. The efforts by the outsider group displays not just a gesture of ungentlemanliness, but a true unholy act. It's a matter that is currently being acted upon in the way that brahmins would handle; that is with gentle firmness.
My evening shade became a surprise to me. Having no opportunity to let the legs wander today, 10:30 PM became my first chance. It was hard to sleep because of the humidity. So I ventured to Coconut Grove where some semblance of life persists into the night. I was chanting softly on my beads and I returned by midnight.
There was one problem. I was accidentally locked out of the entire temple complex. I tried to scale the eight foot wall but no way. Dhotis are not ideal for climbing walls. I headed towards the ocean and the yacht docks. There I had a doze at the end of a dock. Th breeze was cool and favourable.
I was cut off of any material ties and material facility. I had only my chauddar (shawl), my beads and the clothes on my back. For those few hours of being somewhat stranded, I felt I had touched the time of freedom.
Finally, the steward of the temple, Dakshin, a monk from Canada who resided here for years, unlatched the door to the temple compound entrance after I wandered back. I again, stepped into an altogether different kind of freedom.