As Mist Rose
Fredricton, New Brunswick
As mist rose Karuna and I moved forward. The weather became a predicted 19 degrees celsius. From a walkers point of view, that's just about right. As usual the first hour translates as 5 kilometres (or 3 miles), two hours is 10, three is 15 and so on. Such is the standard pace.
What was once a straight-as-could-be trail, since railway times, was now interrupted. Our path was detoured for an airfield. Indeed a plane did make an angular ascent as Karuna and I trekked around that launching space. Soon our loyal trail straightened out again to parallel a rather north/south river, the Saint John, as we approached the precincts of Fredericton.
It was phenomenal how nature took to my command. Upon spotting a beaver smoothly making his way across a swamp, I yelled out "Slap you tail!" At that instance he smacked his tennis-racket shaped tail against the water's surface. Then perched high on a white pine was a proud eagle. He sat motionless. "Turn your head!" I volumed. Queued to perfection, he did turn his awesome head. "This is getting good, " said my ego. "At my beck and call all things revolve." "Careful now you (meaning me)," said my intelligence. "Don't get carried away! Settle down!"
Our trek on the Trans Canada Trail continued then through a residential and woodsy district and for a real treat, onto an ancient iron bridge that is elevated above the wide St. John River. Everyone was out there - the young, the old - people with strollers, on shoes, skateboards. There were runners, walkers, and hang-arounders. We saw them. They saw us - a couple of monks edging themselves along and being different and being one.
At one break-time and on an urban bench, Joey Haley, came to sit next to me. He knew what I was about after meeting Andrew, another one of our brahmacaris. Joey is like me. He detests automobiles. "They're disgusting! Walking is reality!" Joey admitted not being a Hare Krishna but admitted that the material energy is a conduit for reaching the Divine, so there is no dispute or reason to be at odds. I invited him to our next Monday's gathering. He said he'll try.
At night the monks of Nova Scotia and I made our way to the local Hindu temple. I spoke from the chapter Karma Yoga and how we try to see life and work as an offering and not just as a means to survive. The group listened and responded so well to kirtan chanting. Professor Tom Parkhill was there. Our acquaintance goes way back. The potluck prasad (offered food) was great. A fine day for a different Saturday Night Fever was our experience.