I Can See The Mist
La Riviere, Manitoba
From Pemdina Valley I could see the mist with rainbow tones rising as I was approaching. It was as if the sun god was pulling up with his hands the moisture and dispersing it into thin air. It resembled a hint of virat rupa, the cosmic form as described in Bhagavad Gita.
Daruka joined and we were pacing along. We passed by the location where ‘The Passion’ play is annually presented in the outdoors attracting people from far and wide. Then we caught the attention of a group of people having breakfast in the town restaurant. Dennis, the retired school teacher, pulled out of the group and came outside to invite us for some early morning breakfast. Daruka and I accepted the offer of cranberry juice and the company of district farmers. We all hit it off well, chanting while sitting at a round table. Being with Dennis, an educator whom everyone in the district seemed to have been taught by (so it seems) set a tone for the day.
Daruka and I eventually backtracked to Manitou and the elementary school. There, 130 students assembled in the gymnasium to hear about a monk’s lifestyle and his associates and to view a blue front Amazon parrot. The principle Deb Morrow, was most gracious, while the reception by the students was quite overwhelming. The applause made us feel like rock stars. There also appeared to be no end to questions regarding life as a monastics. In truth, the kids questioned about Billy as well, but I’ll give it a 50/50 attention to both topics.
Further on in the walk westbound on Highway 3, many motorists came to congratulated me for the trek and for visiting their neighbourhood. Two more journalists from different papers came to interview, also Jackie and Maryanne, local farm girls I guess you could say, cycled from their endless prairie laneways to meet and talk.
Finally, where the educational element became interwoven in our day once more is when Alix, the local art gallery coordinator, joined me for a stretch to Crystal City when along with Daruka and Billy we accidentally stumbled upon a graduation ceremony. Grads and friends were gathered in the street. Gals in pretty dresses and guys in suits took notice of the unusual team that we were. It then became an exchange of mutual congratulations.
What a glorious day. The last few kilometres I tackled solo, but I wasn’t alone, a trillion mosquitoes accompanied me.