Salisbury, New Brunswick
Hawk is the name of a 33 year old hermit-type fellow here in Moncton. He takes on the look of a shaman. Long-haired, in black, and carrying a wooden staff with a curve and an attached piece of otter fur and eagle's feather, Hawk is my walking partner for the day. He was inspired by our presentation last night in hearing about the virtues of walking. He turned up at 3:30 am.
As a real trouper he stuck by me for a whole five hours until feet and calves started aching. I told him in the beginning that I would take half the time to chant on my meditative beads. He was totally cool about that and just walked by my side and listened.
I admit that part of the day's trek along the Petitcodiac River had me occupied in thoughts of other people who came around last night - people in addition to Hawk. One of them was Rick, a real live ascetic who for three years now has been residing in his home-made tent in the bush. By day he works at a Sears warehouse lifting objects (which accounts for his bulging biceps). By night he's in his tent, deep in the forest, sharing space with slugs, spiders, mosquitoes and for one cold winter a porcupine. It's inspiring.
Who else came last night? Well, there was George, a worker at the local penitentiary and Amos, who is employed at a funeral home. My thoughts were on the no less than forty-five people at this mini Kumbha-mela (a festival of mystics held in the Himalayas).
A young couple from Halifax drove the three hours to meet up with me at Salisbury. The last leg of the day's journey ended at an old rustic covered bridge, a common landmark in the province of New Brunswick. Inside we exploded our song of honour to our guru, Srila Prabhupada. Twas great!