Dust Under Us
In the easterly sky a rich saffron glowed. Palm leaves were set in the foreground and as my head brushed against one, even though I tried to dodge it, small dew drops delivered themselves onto the skull until I wiped off the wetness. With even gentle steps dust gets stirred up on the not-yet-paved path towards the Tarampura Road.
God forbid that all walking trails here will meet asphalt in the future. The massive temple under construction, once completed, will draw pilgrims in the multitudes. They will come from all over the world. When that happens the demand for accommodating inexperienced feet and motorized vehicles will be strong. Could it be that a time will come when "dust from the lotus feet" of the holy travelers will have no meaning? Will the phrase denoting the quality of humility be obsolete? Will future words read "the concrete from the lotus feet?"
I am enjoying the dust while I can. Perhaps it sounds somewhat like I'm singing the blues lamenting over a foreseeable unpleasant future. I'm hit by feelings of ambivalence - joyful at the prospect of uncreased numbers of pilgrims immersed in a higher consciousness but sad at the thought of simple rural charm being sacrificed. There is not a day that goes by especially during walking times that I'm torn inside with the rural versus modernity arm wrestle.
The sweet sentiments of the boyhood "greenness" of Krishna envelops me. The images of vegetation and animals and the cowherd children moving between these two should remain as permanent fixtures of this area.
It will be a challenge to preserve natural beauty and keep "development" from chewing it up. That is my prayer : while a gorgeous temple springs from the ground may dust continue to give comfort to our feet.