Pratley and Tulsi
Halifax, New Glascow
Philip Louis Pratley was the actual first person I met today. The only thing is he passed away in 1958; that's over fifty years. I met him in a strange way. I'll explain. I walked over the bridge he designed going over the Halifax Harbour over to Dartmouth. There at the edge of the bridge on this ever so quiet morning was his eminent figure in bronze, and perhaps mixed metal. A plaque detailed his credits including being the genius behind not only this bridge existence but several bridges that connected major highways across the nation.
I had passed by perhaps three pedestrians on the bridge which took me a good fifteen minutes but none of them seemed so alive as Mr. Pratley. He stood there looking at me. Somehow I felt his presence and in fact, I took a moment of silence in gratitude for his contribution.
"Thanks for letting me walk on your bridge, Pratley" I thought a while crossing over to the opposite side for a return journey.
"Go to the other side", yelled out a voice
"Was that you Pratley"? I wondered and was that message meant for me? The voice came from the bridge toll man. He repeated himself, "The other side. This side is for cyclists". He was nice enough about it. "Ah, I'm sorry, I'm a visitor, I didn't know", I said claiming my innocence. I thought that the divisions were Pratley's intention so I had to respect that. In truth, Pratley became a bit real for a few moments in my life. In a similar way the deity of Krishna can be very real to his devotee. The only thing is Krishna can take you much deeper than Pratley's status can. It's all a matter of devotion.
Afternoon plans for Manu's family and I and a 65 year young lady from Holland, Stefina were to drive to New Glascow. There at the home of Dr.Vikram Jala, we were to participate in a Vidya Rambha, a rite of passage on education for daughter Tulsi Priya, 3 1/2. Manu dasa, the priest informed us that the chalk board and the chunky piece of chalk would become consecrated. They would be sacred tools in initiating Tulsi in her first learning lessons. In a sense they would become alive although they were inanimate objects.
To the visitors who were of Cristian and Hindu origin, delight came to their faces to see Tulsi attempt her first letters of the alphabet. This ancient rite of passage, samskar, was something new for the residents of New Glascow. Who knows, perhaps Tulsi will succeed in her education to become an architectural designer or engineer of big bridges? Most important is that she become devotional.