He Slapped His Tail
Oxford/Little River, Nova Scotia
He slapped his tail against the surface of the water, warning his community that danger lurks in their midst. I was the intruder and the one sending the warning sign was a beaver. On the Cross Canada Trail leading up to Oxford, Nova Scotia, you will have these wilderness experiences. I also spotted a pair of grouse, bear feces everywhere, but most prominent was the work of the boys with the fancy sharp teeth and tennis racket tails who have made their mark. Their trails are abound. I saw a mini Hoover dam so expertly constructed, and at least one sizeable tree chewed off to a pencil point and then crashed to the ground.
Thicker trees are left alone, but not by the night chill. Autumn cold is turning leaves from green to deep orange and red. So that happens to those trees who stand alone. Those nestled by other trees are at this point protected from a chilly dynamic. This display of nature is to me, like attempting spiritual life all on your own. You are vulnerable to the onslaught of temptations when you try it solo. Once you commit to spiritual camaraderie, you are then sheltered from the attacks of maya (illusion). I’m fortunate to have Bhakta Jeff, a good supporting soul, to be present at every access area to the trail as he drives ahead. Once we reached Oxford we realized the trail merges with the highway. It was a disappointment. From there onward I ventured down the Highway 204 to Little River at Oxford. Jeff and I met with Charlie of the Oxford Journal for an interview and photo.
Boy, this is certainly not the Oxford we hear about in the UK, but it does boast having the world’s largest blueberry, a metallic sculpture of the fruit.
We left the wilderness and small towns behind for a wild and ecstatic kirtan (chanting), a reunion with other brahmacharis (monks) in Halifax for the late afternoon. Halifax is another world. There’s young people everywhere and they respond so well to the presence of us monks.