Daruka and I knew last evening that it would become a scorcher of a day today – hot and sticky. We planned ahead. I was in for hitting the highway nice and early. At 3 AM who is around? On Tuesday especially? Anyone on foot at that hour might be suspect, for intoxication perhaps. Within the first half hour of the day’s trek, along 132, two separate police came to see an unusual roaming character. Curious and perhaps a little bored, these officers who travel in twos swung over to where I trekked, and asked where I’m staying and what I’m doing. It didn’t take much to satisfy their questions which came in broken English and French. It turns out that they were just excited by the small ordeal, and they wanted their picture taken with the walking monk. Only flash worked to get the picture because it’s dark out. No doubt they will tell the other boys at the station about the different type of encounter they had, and that it was not a drug addict.
The beauty of this walk is that you meet all of these people. For instance Dorice Martin, a stained glass carver, spotted me on the road as she was pulling weeds out of her garden. She then showed me her garden of splendour, and then introduced me to her hubby, her man of splendour (I should hope). She pointed to the hermitage they had built situated in their backyard at the shore of the mighty Saint Lawrence. Dorice insisted, “Please stay at the hermitage.” I indicated I would take up the hospitality some day in the future. I prodded along a stretch until I reached a church where I lay my weary bones on some fine grass next to a cemetery. After the nap I met with the pianist of the place, not the organist, but the pianist. Nice fellow. To wrap up the day the couple Kausik and Amelie, whom I had met on Sunday on the road, came to see us one more time. This is where the walking gets rewarding, when there’s repeat encounters. Each of the encounters became a mutual reinforcement of spiritual pursuits, except for maybe the officers. They are into law and order, and so am I.