Saturday, 30 May 2015

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

Saturday, May 16th, 2015            
Detroit, Michigan

The Detroit Walk

“No devices, no food, no money, no vehicle, rather depend on Krishna” was the policy set by Jambavan who set the rules for his fourth walk across Detroit.  He mentioned that I inspired him on this annual trek.  This time, this year, I decided to give support and accompany him, so did 16 other enthusiasts who, like troupers, stuck it out for the long haul.

The long haul was not so long, really but a considerable distance when you were dealing with mostly first timers.  To what was calculated to be about 12 miles or 20 kilometres was the stretch taken from Eastpointe and Gratiot going southbound with some interesting detours and ending at the playgrounds on Belle Island.  Along the way on Gratiot (originally a French word which locals horrendously pronounce as “Grash-it”) we observed some good omens.  We even spotted a pretty and wild pheasant.  Above all, people were very sweet, receptive, kind and happy to see some “whites” in exotic cloths taking humbly to the road on foot in their neighbourhood.

Well, most people were nice. 

This venture we confirmed is a pilgrimage and Jambavan saw to it that his very own stomping grounds were places that we would get acquainted with.  He pointed to the Faygo factory of soft drinks (exclusively born in Michigan) and the “Better Made Potato Chip Company” also fabulously a Detroit origined family business.  On the more spiritual catholic side, we visited Bishop Carl at the gorgeous St. Anthony Church.  He had this “George Clooney air about him” said Jambavan.  There was the Capucin Monk, Brother Joseph at the Solamus Kasey Center who received and gave hugs.  The reception at the Assumption Church and a grotto of Mary was a harsh one.  Quite harsh.

For detours, we veered off to neighbourhoods known for their miles upon miles of dilapidated, gutted out and in some cases, burned down homes.  This was like I had never seen before.  Like a war zone.

On the bright side, those streets were the most serene and green nature is doing a make / take over.  And the artistic Heidleburg Project was a real treat for the eyes – something that we stumbled upon.  There was also a rotund mama who was canvassing for us to put our signature on her house for a dollar.  Also a woman on drugs and in pink propositioned two of our men as we were walking.  All in all, it was an adventure, especially when the rain poured down and we took shelter of an abandoned home, toilet removed and all and there we chanted in a joyous kirtan.

May the source be with you!

22 km

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