First Day Back
It’s the first day back at school for elementary kids . After dropping off students, a bus driver pulled over when he saw me. He’s heard of Hare Krishna before. We agreed on mutually praying for each other, even though our approaches to faith are different.
Before the real cold sets in, all kinds of repairs go on. I met a group of workmen on the railway which runs next to Highway 13. Only a ditch lies between the two routes of travel.
“What’s going on?” Asked one of the dozen or so guys with hard hats and red safety jackets.
“It’s a walk, a pilgrimage, the fourth. I chose the quiet highway this time. Hey, do you guys ever sing together, ‘I’ve been working on the railroad’.” That gave a chuckle.
The jolly spokesman said, “We do it when we need to pump each other up.”
“I do a bit of singing, chanting mantras actually, along the way. I’m a Hare Krishna monk, and it’s one of the things we do. Out here in the prairies, you can sing to your hearts content (laughter).”
Down the road, as the late morning wore on, a young rancher in a pick up truck stopped. He had a cowboy hat and the works, “Are you a Hare Krishna?”
“Can I get a picture taken with you?”
“Sure.” He got out of his truck and it seemed a thrill for him, like a bronco bustin’ affair.
Another fellow stopped. I had seen him walking his German Sheppard when I walked through the village of Hazenmore. He was so busy keeping his pet at his leash’s control that he hardly had time for me then. Now, in the vehicle, he did.
“You want a ride?” he said in English accent (sorry, I’m the one with the accent being a North American).
I explained to him what I’m up to. He knew about Krishna Consciousness. He wasn’t sure whether to address me with a ‘Hari Hari’. He also expressed he didn’t believe in God, but in religion.
“To each his own,” I said, “but to me, when I see this vast prairie and the gorgeous sky, a beautiful creation, it’s my rationale that there’s some divine intelligence behind it all.”
“I believe in the ‘fohss of naycha’”.
“I also believe in the force of nature, and we call it Bhagavan, Krishna.” It was a pleasure speaking to a guy from England. Finally because it was the first day of school, Daruka, because he’s sharp on these things, contacted the local school in Pointex.
Yes, Chantal, the coordinator for the school said, “You and your monk friend can come in on the last period of the students’ day back.” The kids were adorable, they had questions unlimited.