I’m Just West…
I’m just west of Estevan, near a massive dam. Highway 18. The moon is above and in front of me. The sun sneaks up from behind. What clouds say, “You’ll be less intense today, we are here to veil you.”
The highway is lined with, from what I can make out, miniature sun flowers , actually Echinacea, and then there’s amaranth plants that ancient civilizations used as food substances. I’m glad to have their company. Muskrats are here, or what’s left of them after being run over. Caterpillars make their migration across. They have a better chance on the westerly portion of Highway 18, there’s less human traffic now.
A salamander sloths his way across. He’s absolutely adorable. With a tip of my umbrella I touch his belly. He swings his tail and actually swerves and makes a sound. I tried again to offer the softest touch, he reacted the same again and gave off a kind of a squeal. I didn’t know salamanders make noise.
I thought I would try my five finger Vibram footwear. It seems to work. The highway here is uneven, and pavement here is bumpier with a rough gravel surface. The feet like it, they like the grip.
Speaking about grip, let’s have a look at getting a hold on life. I meet a lot of young guys everyday, they are good to me, they are supportive, they seem happy and hard at work. One fellow gave me a container of cut watermelon just as I was getting so dehydrated. With some, we have some great chats about all the money they are making and about family and girlfriends and all. I make a point of them getting a grip on the term dharma, and what that means as far as responsibilities go. One fellow that I talked to was boasting, “I’ll just pick up a girl now that my ex is out of the picture.” I said, “You know women aren’t so cheap that you can just pick one up. They are valued just like you are valued.” It’s great speaking like a father to them. They really like monks.
In Torquay, the only village on today’s route, we met some great folks, especially a few bikers. I was curious to know what it’s like being on a Harley Davidson, “Check it out, Swami!” For fun, I sat there on the machine and had a good laugh. It seemed that the whole residential street was out there with us, meaning Daruka, Billy the parrot and myself. Everyone was looking at it and deciding whether the motorcycle was me or not. Ultimately consensus tells that I’m better with feet and the trail, and not putting pedal to the metal.