Monday, August 8th, 2016
A Few Steps, A Few Memories
Our team of Gopal, Mandala and myself, set out on our return journey. We were headed east in our Toyota van which we named Vamana, a name for an avatar meaning “the one who makes great strides”. We spanned the states of Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois, arriving at destination Chicago for a day’s stay, before continuing. Oh, how we shook our heads in disbelief, wondering how these hundreds of miles were just recently covered on foot.
We took a break at Princeton for our two drivers to catch a nap, and I took the opportunity to walk east on 6. It was time to reminisce on recent doings. I thought about the beautiful people who had hosted us and organized sangas, or gatherings of devotion. They rarely get a swami coming to town; so while our pedestrian troupe (the three of us) were around, they milked us like a contented cow, with questions and requests for mantras. Their children, too, loved to listen to the wisdom and pastimes of Krishna. How gracious they all were!
At the edge of Princeton, where I walked, is the old homestead of abolitionist, Owen Lovejoy, who fought for the liberty of slaves. This was also the stomping grounds of President Ronald Reagan. I’ve come upon birthplaces of other celebs, besides U.S. Presidents, on this walk, like actors John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart. Illustrious company, I suppose.
At the side of one corn field waited two young ladies, cousins, who stopped to meet and offer me water. They called me a “celebrity.” That’s a far cry. Maybe a “celebrant.”
This walk is for 50 years of Hare Krishna in America.
May the Source be with you!