Monday, November 9th, 2015
Newark, New Jersey
A new pilgrim came on board today. Esa is a 24-year-old guy from Chile and is an employee of Govinda's veggie restaurant. Here we have another real trooper. He was the first one to rise and he also kept steady for the entire 24-mile trek on foot.
We all felt a rush of excitement as it is one of the last two days on this 950-mile journey of introspective walking. It’s almost too hard to believe that this project is coming to an end. The nature of trekking each day is that you just carry on without cessation. Fortunately or not, we have to turn our attention to other devotional commitments and issues before dreaming and planning for the next circle.
The four of us trekked through Morristown, Madison, Chatham, and a whole string of boroughs and towns. In Newark, our expectation to meet more pedestrians became a reality.
I met Miss Kat. “That is, with a K”, as she put it.
She is a very outgoing type of person.
“I’ve never met a monk before. I have only seen them in the movies”, she said.
I also met a large-framed man. When I asked him how he was doing, he expressed how he was happy to have a bed and home. This is taken for granted by most of us, to have a home, shelter, food, family, and safety.
The little miracle of the day came when our small group came to a junction on Road 16. We left the town of Madison going east-bound until we came to a complex roadway system. We were uncertain how to move forward. We sat against the ramp when suddenly I saw my dear friend, who I know from Canada, drive up.
He rolled down his car window, “What are you doing here Maharaj?”
Nilamani, who used to live in Toronto, was on his way back from work when he spotted us. The funny thing is that he was on my mind all morning. I knew that he lived somewhere in New Jersey now but I was uncertain where exactly. As I mentioned before, walking on the road attracts a lot of attention and causes surprising interactions.
“Come to our house and have a break”, Nilamani said.
And we obliged.
In the evening we went to chant at Union Square in Manhattan. It was outstanding to see how many people came forward to offer a small light to the image of Krishna and His mother, Yasoda, which was placed upon a small table, after being welcomed to do so as we chanted away.
May the Source be with you!
24 miles/ 39 km