Pushing At Pelee
Pelee Island, Ontario
This area, my childhood playground, you could say, I left forty years ago. South Western Ontario is where life began for me in this body before heading for what seemed to be greener pastures. I pursued studies in college up north, then moved to T Dot (another word for Toronto) the big city, to take up life in the ashram as a monk. I travel the world and now come back to heart-string pulling 'home' and I see the pastures, literally, that I left behind are indeed green.
I mean, everything grow here, especially tomatoes. And what about sand? Reminiscence takes me to beaches where those tiny granules of dirt hug your feet. It's a good feeling.
So here we are in Pelee Island, one of those childhood places, where baking in the sun with transistor radio next to you was the thing to do along with trekking a nature trail through Carolinian forest.
The 'we' are a group of devotees from Michigan and Ontario who have converged on a retreat. We jumped in the much warmer Lake Erie and kept that volley ball bounced in the air tossing at each other to the hopeful count of '108'. We only made it halfway, at the count of '52' actually before it hit the water. To me this attempt at keeping the object up is analogous to the soul staying up and staying dry. The jeeva 'the soul' must not fall to the mundane-ness but must remain liberated.
Also our walk down a pebbled-bound strip of endless peninsula forced austerity. At some spots the sand was burning on the soles. We then found ourselves shifting to more firm wet ground until that turned into sinking pebble zones. We shift again, but we kept going until we reached zenith-point - the end of sand, where the undertoe of the water became dangerous.
The activities of the day also included great prasadam, the ultimate yoga food to satisfy tongue and soul - it's all therapy.
We had played hard until we tired ourselves out. We pushed ourselves even up to the end. When we had an exhilarating kirtan that filled the ether on the ferry, the Jiimaan, all the way back to mainland, a sweet hour and a half.
That was it! We pushed our souls not to the limit, but to the unlimited - the bonding was good. Jambavan, a real Brahmin from Detroit, said "Let me know when you are doing this next year. I'm on board."