Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

Starts and Stops

The Soo/Orillia/Scarborough

Two really curious young men made a u-turn once they saw me. It was approximately 6am and it was still dark when they spotted me on Trunk road in the Soo (short for Sault Ste.Marie). They tolled their van windows down and said a mantra all too common to my ears.

“Are you a monk?’

“Yes, I am!”, I answered them.

“In the Soo?”

“I’m visiting, “I said and introduced myself. Reciprocally these two clean-cut guys, one a film maker, and the other an employee with the knights of Columbus, just wanted to know. They were sober. It was my chance to utter the word “Krishna” and tell them I was his monk. Our dialogue continued for some time.

Young men, I’ve found, have this fascination for the monastic. It’s occasions like this one that spurs me on day after day to hit a trail and expect to meet someone. I always try to leave the new friend with the maha mantra card. Before long my three companions came to pick me up for a car journey to Orillia.

What’s so special about Orillia? Here lives a Patel family and they own two motels. Yes, common in the U.S. and Canada are Patel motels. But we are here to break up the journey and honor some prasadam. How delicious is this prasadam (food that’s blessed)! And how devotional are the Patels! They run on a high level of Bhakti (devotion). It inspires us, the travelers.

Our last stop for the day was in Scarborough. After a 9 hour zip by car from the Soo we landed ourselves at the birthday celebration of a 50 year old devotee. Satya, is honoring her half –a –century stay on this planet. I spoke and “Gaura Shakti” the mantra band played their mini concert. Everyone was enjoying the chanting so much. People of this Guyanese community sprang to their feet to dance, which always makes an event like this one so complete.

7 KM

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