There’s a remarkable migration of tiny frogs attempting the journey over the highway. Many casualties occur I’m afraid. They’ve got guts doing this, boy do they ever have guts.
It’s people that I meet like crazy. The first person stops his vehicle, raises his iPhone for a picture and asks, “What’s up?”
“I’m on a walk across Canada.” The fellow was impressed, he was very poetic.
“Holy _____ ! Good luck!” At least the words rhymed.
The walk was news to this guy who works in the oil fields which are all around. Many other folks were quite aware though – the oil riggers, farmers, students on holidays, seniors on chores. It seems that even though I pulled of the road over a month ago to attend Canada and US spiritual fests, there was a buzz lingering about a roaming monk, and so the reception was phenomenal.
At one point a heavy rain came. 83 year old Mr. Swayze pulled over and let me into his passenger seat until rain let up. Mr. Swayze, although retired, took up work again. He was on his way to getting a bridge constructed. He told me, “If you do nothing you start to deteriorate. Since I took up this recent assignment, my brains got sharp again."
Words of wisdom.
I walked through several towns, Glen Ewen was the name of one. People were sitting outside a pub. The owner offered water (of course, I won’t take hard drinks). I went inside, so did all who were sitting in the sun. They were curious. All the walls were adorned with large pictures of Marilyn Monroe and James Dean. The owner, a woman, asked what I thought of Marilyn from a monk’s perspective.
“Overrated. Not my idea of the emblem of true womanhood.” The folks there respected my opinion. They had oodles of questions.
“So, you’ve been celibate all your life?” asked the owner. People were sipping beer and were in rapt attention.
“Yes. When I was in high school I had one or two girlfriends. I came close once but God said, ‘No, not now,’ (laughter).”
One fellow asked if he could be a monk and drink.
“You’d be a drinking monk (laughter). No, as a monk, you learn self discipline.”
Back on the road again. Numerous people stopped to talk. It got to the point where it was hard to make progress as far as distance was concerned. It was a nice problem, I’ll admit.
By nightfall, I got nearer to our campsite spot, an ideal location by the serene Souris River. Daruka was anxious about my being late, so he went out looking for me. A local woman, big hearted as anything, came on the search as well. She figured out what we needed for our outdoor cooking. She had gone home, brought rye bread, fruits, and a camp lamp to contend with the darkness. Archie was her name. The people I met were in great numbers, quite overwhelming. Archie came at the end and showed an incredible level of devotion. Thank you, Archie.