Cleveland is one of those Great Lake cities not far from Toronto. It was a quick flight there. To pick me up at the airport was Jatayu, 59, with a birthday two weeks after mine. The prearranged driver, my dear friend, Akilananda, couldn't make it. His mother passed away at noon today. Bless her soul. She was 98.
Jatayu and I talked about our age, and how the machinery gradually becomes like a slug before it ceases to be. We both realized that our moment would come somewhere down the road. On the flight over I read an article about death by Douglass Cornish, "The thing about death is that it so often comes unannounced. One minute you're grocery shopping, the next you're hit by a bus. Someone once told me about their grandfather who went to the bank one morning, took out some money and had a heart attack on the step on his way out. It's true, you can't take it with you."
Before you know it, Jatayu and I had found our way to Fort Hill, a lovely place, typical of Ohio Valley topography, and vegetation at Rocky River. We were bent on putting in some walking before settling in for the night. There we were, dwarfed by jolly green giants of oak, sycamore, cedar, maple and more. Some of these trees were made to be humbled; who had a fall once their souls left them. Death and life is very apparent, even of herbs and giants.
We met James and Cassie on the trail, inquisitive they were. They were asking about our dress and how to address. "Hare Krishna" I offered. The couple who were young adults, appeared so much alive, especially when we talked to them about our lifestyle.
Interesting in this forest were the remains of a past ceremonial grounds by natives of 1000 years before. They had constructed on top of a hill these mounds that resembled a kind of earth rib cage, parallel ridges in the ground. A fossil of a dunkleosteus, a massive fish of 16 - 20 feet in length, that had razor sharp teeth to feast on sharks, is featured at the native center. There was a time when the Ohio area was an ocean bed, but that is no more, nor is the dunk or sharks. They have all perished. I certainly get a charge out of these green trails as they reveal what's really going on in life, with its appearances and disappearances. All things must pass.