Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Monday, September 21st, 2015

Monday, September 21st, 2015
Hopkinton, Massachusetts

A Full Day

Off to a great start. Three of us, Karuna, Pradyumna, and I, walk in the dark, westbound. At 5:25 AM we hit the pavement as our driver, Vivasvan, pulls ahead three miles to park and heads back on foot until we meet. He then continues to move forward with us until we reach the vehicle. That's our system until the passions of the morning come to their zenith.

By 9 AM we all needed some downtime. We chose a park in Hopkinton to lie down on the grass under one of its great trees. Before doing so, we noted a bronze statue of a man with a Hitchcockian physique holding a gun in his right hand above his head. Curious, we decided to read the plaque at its base and lo and behold we discovered that this is the starting point of the famous Boston Marathon Run initiated in 1905. Wow!

I napped, as did Pradyumna, and was poised to continue to trek, when I saw a man and woman setting up chairs by the park's gazebo. Seniors, some with the aid of walkers, moved towards those chairs. I asked one of the boys if we could somehow participate in what they were going to do and Jennifer, the woman, introduced herself to me and said I could help. Rachel, a yoga/dance/stretch instructor then led the group of seniors into easy stretches. When asked what I could offer, the folks were seated. I knew I couldn't ask them to do our usual 'Swami Step' to music so I came up with a sit-down version, the 'Swami Swerve', which requires arms in the air, swaying, and twisting at the waist. We all enjoyed moving to the recording of Willie Nelson's rendition of 'Blue Skies' and Steve Miller's Band doing 'I Could Fly Like An Eagle.' Our crew was also enjoying the stretches to address our stiff limbs. Great fun!

Then Jennifer invited us for lunch at the Golden Pond Assisted Living & Memory Care Facility. It was something we couldn't refuse. "No onions and garlic if you don't mind," I asked. She wanted to know why the restrictions but asked unchallengingly. Also she was curious about our meditation beads and the marking on our forehead. Kelsey, from the Bahamas, was the chef and provided us with a gourmet-standard meal catered to our diet. Emma served. They were both darlings.

Onward we went and discovered the most outstanding wild grapes. The greatest discovery of the day, however, was finding Ganesh at the base of a lake's edge. Our men were parked at Pratt Pond and were looking at a promising swimming spot when they spotted a clay-based colourful object submerged in fresh water - the adorable Ganesh. Voila! What a find!

Karuna pulled him out of the water and I pronounced that he join us for our walk as a passenger in our SUV. This deity is known to remove obstacles on the path of devotion. We seated him in the middle of the second row of seats and he appeared like a prince.

The last of this day's installments of joy was time spent at the Hartford centre for ISKCON. There we honored a day for Radha. As I mentioned to Rachel earlier, "We did a half-day fast in dedication to the Goddess." There it ended. I was united with godbrothers like Niranjan Swami, a fine example of a monk!

May the Source be with you!

37 km/23 miles


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