Thursday, July 7th, 2016
I started off the day with a wrinkly shirt, or what we call a kurta, but one hour after the walk began perspiration took all creases out. Problem solved.
I took shelter of our support van today, when another substantial downpour came. After the rainfall, moisture just hung in the air like a possum hangs from a tree branch. It’s ‘sticky’ conditions. Except for construction workers doing extensions to the “Hon” office-chair company, most people prefer to be indoors. I recommend walking and noticing a vibrancy about the place. These days it’s rare to find manufacturing going on in North America.
Muscatine was also known world-wide for its production of pearl buttons. Plastic put that out of business. I was learning as much about the town from Emily Winger, the reporter from The Muscatine Journal, as she was learning about my walking project. Actually she was equally keen on knowing about life in the moderate lane, as a monk.
The interview went well, and longer than usual.
I am a little saddened to see the Mississippi leave me. It makes an acute turn towards the south, and I’m going west. Some magical moments did happen here, like in almost any place. I met Alijandro, who hails from Mexico, who greeted me with the mantra “Namah om Vishnu padaya…” This is a mantra which honours our guru Srila Prabhupada.
Alijandro said, from his works pick-up truck, that he was once ready to shave off his hair and be a full-fledged monk when his family stopped him. That was years ago.
Later on, an officer of Hispanic origin offered to give me a ride to the next town.
“I’m walking to San Francisco. I can’t cheat,” I said.
“Oh! I gotcha!”
May the Source be with you!