Monday, 20 September 2010

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

To the Smallest Province

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Several crows were creating a ruckus. They were squaking and flapping their wings like there was no end to the party. "What is all that about?" I wondered as they clammered around a tree set at the edge of Cedar Hill Field of Honour Cemetary. I chose this spot for a solitude walk, and that it was, until those boys with their black feathers went wild.

Then I figured it out. From the base of the trees emerged this red fox. Oh, he was beautiful. He was looking for food no doubt. He looked at me for a brief few seconds (and I admiringly at him) until he swiftly disappeared to the other side of the fence. I was sure to never see him again.

One thing I wanted to make sure of was before departing from the city of Saint John was to visit Mr Greg Kennedy. The last time I saw Greg, who's now 76, was 3 years ago on the trek across Canada. He is a Korean War veteran and is suffering from Alzheimers. He didn't remember me as I approached him in Liberty Ward at the Health Services Centre. He does recall the book 'Bhagavad-Gita' however when I asked him.

He told me, "that Bhagavad-Gita is the best thing that ever happened to me." And I recall how the book came into his life. A sister of his found the text abondoned on the beach. She picked it up and it eventually ended up in her brother's hands. He read it and shared its wisdom with all of his boys, Jason, Justin, and Jamie and one more (I can't remember the fourth one. Don't worry!) From the discovery of the book the Kennedy family let their father take the lead on the vegetarian diet and on Krishna.

"I can't complain," said Greg. "It's been a good life." I left Greg, Mr Kennedy, whom I have so much respect towards, reflecting, perhaps, on his good life. I might not see him again.

The major chunk of today was spent with five monks in Prince Edward Island. The remaining three were obliged to attend a wedding in Halifax. Prince Edward Island, or PEI for short, is known for many things, among them is the fictitious character Ann of Green Gables. Tourists come from all over the world to Cavendish, the site of where this much loved tomboy grew up.

In any event this weekend's Shellfish Festival attracted many folks to the island and we were near the site at the waterfront to chant for the public. In the end we conducted a program for the local Hindu community telling the story of the walking avatar, Vamanadev. Vamana is one of my heros.

9 KM

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