In The Vastness
The only thing casting light at 4 AM out in the bareness of the prairie are the stars above, and there is my headlamp – a necessity. You need to know what you’re stepping on at this dark hour. You don’t want to land on some roadkill. Also, with the headlamp you are made known for the oncoming traffic in front or behind. Motorists must be aware that you are there. There is practically no shoulder to the road. But, traffic is light. In the first hour of my walking not a single machine came by. I’m in an area of less civilization.
By 6:30 AM, the eye of God, the sun, came up from behind. At that time you could hear the sound of crickets. Owls are now quieted and hawks began to occupy the ether, moving in swirls. To my amazement, a heard of antelope in full freedom moved with incredible speed in group tightness across the plane from one cut wheat field, crossing the road in front of me, jumping a ditch and then onto another field. Off they went. Minutes later they reappear and it is without a question that they were expressing curiosity at my presence.
En route to work, and some people stop asking if all is okay.
“Yes, I’m alright, it’s a fourth walk across Canada.”
“Good luck!” they say after I’ve identified name, my order, and my purpose.
The sun got brutal. The area is quite desolate, there was no town along the way. From what I could see, Scotsguard is not even a hamlet, maybe three buildings. The first group of trees for any real shade came at the 7th hour of the walk. There I took my one and only cat nap. Thank God for no mosquitoes in this shade, lots of flies though.
I am reminded of the wonder of nature, it’s soft and harsh sides, and I recall a verse from the Gita to allow me to savour in the thoughts of a deeper dimension. From 8.20 it reads:
“Yet there is another nature which is eternal and is transcendental to this manifested and unmanifested matter. It is supreme and is never annihilated. When all in this world is annihilated, that part remains as it is.”
After a last dash at walking, Daruka showed up having booked us for radio media in the early of next week, and some more school engagements. Eventually we made the four hour drive north to Saskatoon.
Whether on foot or in a vehicle, we are both struck with awe at the vastness of the open prairie as we sped along. Billy the parrot always gives a squawk at the sight of anything in flight.