Saturday, May 14th, 2016
Full of Rain, Full of Fun
Gene was like a cross between the sunshine and the actor Burl Ives. Warm, euphoric, giving, and fairly large-framed. He read the article that came out in 'The Vindicator' entitled, "Walking Monk Makes a Stop in the City," by Bruce Watson.
Gene owns and runs a car dealership. From across the street he saw me through the rain as I walked closer towards his sales yard. He beckoned me to come over. He offered a donation. Kindness? Yes, he was oozing with it. He even offered the shirt on his back - literally! It was a t-shirt with his company's name on it. While beaming the whole time I was in his shop, and me having a chance to dry off - Gene kept up with his helpfulness. He told of a friend settled in a town from Ontario. Then he began sharing friends' contact details with Gopal (my assistant) and I. He just wouldn't stop - he called Don Perkins from Wawa Ontario and handed me the phone to talk to him. We were set for a sit-down and a salad - later in the afternoon. I had to politely sneak out to continue on trekking on the Millcreek Metro Park's bike trail. There I entered paradise for two hours before merging in with regular shoppers' traffic on this Saturday afternoon.
I passed by Mini Food Mart, near Warren, when the owners of the place came out magically to greet me. It was a couple from Nepal, Laksmi Narayan & Brnda, who have that strong tie and connection to Krishna Consciousness. Laksmi had been trained in India in the gurukula, the school for learning bhakti-yoga. Along with Gopal and myself, Laksmi Narayan insisted on a kirtan right in his convenience store while customers were coming in. Every-time a customer would come in, Laksmi would temporarily stop playing harmonium while I continued on a dolak drum and Gopal on the karatalas (hand cymbals). Laksmi was reliving his boyhood-past in Vrndavan, India. He also relayed to us that his father was the person who translated the teachings of our guru, Srila Prabhupada, in the Nepalese language.
While our day was full of fun, it was also full of rain. It is part of a lesson in learning detachment from this world. I was reminded of both death and life. Of course, the plants seem happy with the natural shower. It was road-kill, mostly muskrats, that told me of life's futility - apart from walking by the memorial of McKinley, one of the U.S. presidents, who was assassinated way back when.
I want to thank Das and Vrsni of Pittsburg, who were fine hosts for us for the last few days.
May the Source be with you!
17 km / 10.5 miles