Thursday, 19 May 2016

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Friday, May 13th, 2016
Youngstown, Ohio

Along the Mahoning River

I had put in several hours on foot on a great trail.  Naturally I became thirsty and made my way to a convenience store for juice, on the outskirts of Youngstown.  The place was dark; tiles were cracked on the floor.  Chicken was being cooked at one end of the shop.

I was selecting a drink - an energy drink - with sugar as a nominal ingredient.  A fellow walks in as loud as can be and addresses his friend.

"Hey thanks for hookin' me up with that chick the other night."

"No problem!"

I found the place and parlance interesting.  The word 'monk' is expressed over and over again by pedestrians.  One motorist today asked, "Are you a monk?"  It ranks as the number one question on these travels.

In Lowellville, a couple of elderly women gave me directions.  "You're a monk going to San Francisco?"

"Yes, here's a mantra (I had on my card) and this is the song the Beatles would sing."

"Really?!  Can we give you some water or juice?"

I looked joyfully down no two Macintosh apples.

"Please pray for us," they said.

"I will."

The bike trail that led to Youngstown was under-used by humans, but is frequented by frogs, rabbits, and muskrats.  The birds were also plentiful - blue ones, red ones, orange, yellow, and black ones, too.  The month of May is an a-MAY-zing time because of this.  Two birds were battling over a butterfly.  In the scuffle the butterfly got away.

A major bridge into the city was closed but not for me.  I was not going to detour.  I took advantage of a monk's garb to transcend the conventional closure.  I was just tired and couldn't go the extra mile.

May the Source be with you!

19 km / 12 miles

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