Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

To and In Michigan

Novi, Michigan

It has been a good trip to Michigan so far. We are not anticipating any trouble. Our drama troupe had popped by to my memory lane. On the Canadian side we drove down Old Tecumseh Road, my first walking trail ever, to and from school. We stopped by that school which is still standing but no longer operational. St. Peter's Church, established in 1802 is right next to it and is still functional. We also took a break in Chatham, my birth place, and also a destination poinit for former African slaves and the end of the underground railway line. Jim Burgess, my bro-in-law, was manning his bookstore when we went in to do the human thing – see a relative – and with pleasure.

After the border crossing at customs (since 911 things arent' the same) we had practiced for today's performances at the Iskcon Fisher Mansion, then slept at the home of Bhakta Guru in Canton, Michigan.

The day did start with lightning, and its affiliate, rain. The Ratha Yatra festival got off to a wet start but with a dry invocation. The Mayor and city councilors participated with us indoors at the Novi Civic Centre. Monk, Romapada Swami and Bhaktivasudeva Swami with monkess Malati and I were all in a neat row. Overall, the festival was joyful, well managed by a great group of people.

At the end of the day, I felt something was terribly amiss. And that was that no walking other than the procession had occupied the day. So I was committed to trek for two hours towards the home of our host, Bhakta Guru. Sing Lung from Toronto took to my side. We were surprised by one thing, Michigan is relatively flat which is perfect for cycling and walking yet consistent ride-walks in these prim and proper residential zones are few and far between. A sidewalk will go two or three blocks and then abruptly end. It would manifest on the other side and follow the same pattern.

Michigan people are nice. The state is the bastion of the automobile but at present is not pedestrian friendly. I pray for the day when the whole globe can be a haven for pilgrims and their feet.

8 KM

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