Feeling Out Wheeling
Wheeling West, Virginia.
"Absence makes the heart grow fonder," was the theme of the class from Canto 10 of the book, Bhagavatam. Dravida, an expert at Sanskrit recitation of spiritual-evolved verses, was the morning's pundit. He affirmed that topic of a lofty nature is interaction between Krishna and His most cherished devotees involves being aware of thier confidentiality but to take a cautious path when entering into such mysteries. Such topics could be taken as mundane affairs and perceived as cheap. The phrase he used to describe premature advances into spiritual confidentiality as "sahajiya" which means easy. In any event Dravida's delivery was insightful.
After the class and a bulky breakfast a small band of pilgrims including myself and a brand new monk from Miami, Allen, set foot on an abandoned road trails in the area-trails that led to more abandonment. Homesteads now left to nature's whim were sights we came upon. Even the home, where our guru, Srila Prabhupada, had stayed in the seventies, still for the most part it remained intact.
Wander we did. Explore also. Plants of numerous kinds intrigued us. Signs of wild life by way of footprints and feces made us aware. People rarely hit the trail of our journey. Tics did land on us and our diligence at flicking off the little unfavorable bugs was a must. They seemed to like my legs. Upon returning for a shower before a chanting party engagement, these lyme disease carriers ended up crawling the with of my dhoti(lower robe). Disposing of them was not easy.
We spanned ten kilometers of bush trekking. And then three more in the city of Wheeling in the shape of a chanting party, caught people's interest. Here also in the city a human being is hard to find. The streets appeared to be abandoned. Motorists were abundent.
As we moved along these streets with our forty-strong chanters, both men and women, I caught at an eye's glance a piece of history from the municipals plaques. Apparently the famous cross country US trekkers Lewis and Clarke camped out here at Wheeling on the Ohio River in 1805. Their adventures were well recorded. Also of interest was that the American Civil War began here in the hills of West Virginia, near this area.
Rich history. Yes. And now Wheeling's downtown maybe all the more rich with some awesome sound vibration in the air.