Monday, 10 August 2015

Monday, July 20th, 2015

Monday, July 20th, 2015
Serpent River, Ontario

In The Serpent

 “Know that all beautiful, glorious, and mighty creations spring from but a spark of My splendour.”   Bhagavad Gita 10.41 

It was from the above Gita verse that I lead a discussion with the 50 or so youths and bus drivers on the youth bus tour.  They were seated next to our annually visited Serpent River under towering pine trees.  It was an appropriate verse that invokes appreciation for all that’s natural.  Chapter 10, in fact, is saturated with imagery of the unindustrialized world.   Entitled “Opulence of the Absolute”, a string of 42 verses inspire the out-of-doors experience. 

After the discussion, Manorama, our youth bus coordinator, showed himself to be quite the herbalist.  For one of the three walks that I undertook today, he lead the group down the trail helping everyone to identify hazelnuts, St. John’s Wort, Saskatoon berries, Blueberries, Yarrow, jewel weed, raspberries, ferns and horsetail – a whole community of plants.  It was quite astounding what contribution each plant makes with each of their various properties.  I could see that the group really enjoyed the physical and brain-stretching exercise. 

The termination point on the trail was an old iron train bridge spanning over the river.  My independent nature pulled me in a different direction.  Instead of taking the return trail I decided to take the river itself.  I decided I’ll swim it and against the current which was rather slow.  I decided at certain periods that I would also walk it as the water is shallow in places and that I would even crawl it by clutching on to the rocks underneath me when swimming and walking became tedious.  After some time the mission was accomplished.  To put a little Vedic touch to the endeavour, I plucked out one of those long stemmed water lilies and turned it around my neck as a garland.  My estimation of distance was just under two kilometres.  It is believed by local Ojibwe people that a serpent actually resides at the end of this winding and twisting river. 

On a yearly basis our buses stop here at the park, which has cascaded waters flowing at both ends of its perimeter, to give a chance for everyone to chill and then to prepare for a week of intense programs. 

On one other adventure, Pariksit, a 20 year old from India, and I ambled along near a quarry and as we were about to embark on a trail a local Ojibwe machine operator cautioned us, “Not a good idea.  Too many fast trucks going by here.”  He implied that it’s dangerous.  Indeed, the industrialized world, which you could say he represented, IS dangerous.  In the long run, so is the world of nature.  Therefore, our business as humans is to work our way to get out of this dangerous world all together.

May the Source be with you!

8 km

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