SNOW and OIL
"Woe is me!"
I thought winter was behind us. So did Albertans, but no - snow came as a surprise. Spring had sprung, but 'surprise'. We got a blast of the white stuff and it came down (or sideways really) for hours.
Devotees of Krishna in Edmonton had planned an outdoor kirtan chanting session. The elements imposed another plan. It curbed my anticipated trek somewhere on a trail in the suburbs. It's good I managed about 3 kilometres back and forth on the balcony of the Toronto temple before embarking on the flight here. You take what you can get.
We did manage to have an indoor session with a group of bright kids, average 8 or 9 at the home of a south Indian couple, Srinivasan and Sarada. Hey, these kids lit up to a reading of a Krishna story. They didn't have Robin Williams entertain them but they had a swami who did his best to keep them excited. I think we broke ice with them. And parents who accompanied them sitting right there were pleased and smiled all the while.
"Feedback," I requested at the end.
The answer came from them, the parents. "They (the students) stayed alert and they learned something."
"Feedback," I demanded from the kids. One boy remarked that he liked the part where we read about the ocean of oil. "Of course," I responded, "you're from Alberta. You're swimming in it all the time."
Time allowed a visit to the temple. There we chanted at the arati ceremony. Few folks were there as weather really intimidated people for braving the roads. After the chant, attendees wanted to know about my recent trip to south Africa, so I filled them in on the good organization of the Ratha Yatra festival there and on the growth of a spiritual following in Durban.
Before bed, I had a small meal. "Is this prasadam (blessed food)?" I asked the hosts.
"Oh, yes, I offer my food to Krishna always," said Sarada.