Happy rabbits, white, black and brown, hopped along – I mean dozens of them near the bay of Quinte near Highway 2. Then in the town of Trenton you have this Air Force space, and to my left I saw dozens of groups of air cadets in training marching east to the other side of the fence. “Left! Right! Left! Right!” commanded someone in charge. Some of these cadets caught a sidelong glance of me dressed in a different type of uniform and moving the other way. I offered a pranams (folded palms) to one troupe hoping for a reciprocation. I guess you could say I tried to tempt them. They remained quite focused, good for them. Then moving in my westerly direction was a man in a convertible who pulled over. The car was posh and fire engine red. He asked if I needed to go somewhere, so I told him about my pilgrimage. Next question was if I’m meditating and if I’m trying to reach Nirvana. To put it more straight, I identified myself with Krishnaism. “Ah, yes,” he said, “more along the Hindu line.” He offered help, a donation of money. I asked him about his profession. “I’m a judge.”
“A big responsibility,” I said.
Then I came upon pilgrim George. He’s over 65, carries a bundle of things including a tent, water, a camera. Fully clothed in a robe of neatly patched denim, he looks extremely hot. He’s bespeckled, wears a sun hat and uses a walking stick a staff with a crucifix on top. He covers ten km a day on foot and sleeps in his tent at night in the woods. He hails from Pennsylvania and has walked in 48 countries. Within Canada he’s trekking 800 Km from Toronto to midland to Ottawa, Montreal, and back to Toronto on this Highway, Highway 2. He intends to attend mass in the church up the street tomorrow. By the way I forgot to mention he also carries a rosary. So there you have it, a genuine pilgrim. He expressed to me at least once a day a person talks to him with a serious dialogue. Some people consider him crazy, but he declares he’s not. In fact, he’s very bright, alive, and spiritual, and he demonstrates a respect for me, although I could be considered a false prophet from some people I’ve met in the past.
As we chatted alongside the road, a motorist gawked at us and almost had a serious accident. Farewell, Pilgrim George. To relieve ourselves of heat, Daruka and I took to a southerly route by car to the world’s largest fresh water sand banks, so we were told. There we did swim to let the water massage the tired body. A woman there mentioned she just read about my marathon walk in the paper. Also a pilot from Trenton’s Air Force and I talked along side with his son about Krishna Consciousness, as I do with all people I meet. I always try to convey whatever people are able to hear. In the course of the day between Daruka and I, the individuals we meet, although usually on a one to one basis, becomes too many to recall.
From rabbits to pilgrims.