Thursday, 29 September 2016

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Monday, September 26th, 2016
Toronto, Ontario

C.H. Came

Chaitanya Hari is staying at the InterContinental Hotel on Front Street and is here on business.  He works with Telus and is based in Vancouver.  He is a young, promising, business person and his prospects for spiritual advancement also look good.  I’ve known him since he was a kid.

I took him south on Yonge Street and then over to Front to his hotel, where he was to retire for the evening before he started business training, and ideas and strategic planning during the next day.

Being from Vancouver, he noted some differences between that city and the current one he’s in.  Each place does have its own character and personality.  But every place you go to, reveals a similarity—people are driven.  People are motivated to forge ahead on some level of progress.  Even the homeless are motivated to survive.

Both Chaitanya and I witnessed some people, a few, lying down over the vents where heat rises from the underground traffic.  Other more driven men in suits walk with a speed of expectation.  In general, there is ambition.  That is natural.

It is also natural to look at, or at least ponder, the metaphysical, and consider transcending over the physical world and the freaks of nature.  That term, “freaks of nature,” was used by our guru, Srila Prabhupada, to reflect or express the turbulent nature of existence itself.

It’s beneficial to balance our physical and spiritual needs.  Do not suppress either.

May the Source be with you!

9 km

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

Sunday, September 25th, 2016
Burlington, Ontario

The Bend at The Lake

Jagannatha Misra and I took a stroll along the northwest bend of Lake Ontario.  We have been there before, and again and again.  It’s in his very neighbourhood.  The trail, which is edged along the lake, also takes you past the historic Joseph Brant home.

Who was he?  Joseph Brant was actually a Mohawk Chief who became the leader of the Six Nations.  He was also a Christian.  He fastened a policy onto his people saying “unity and concord among themselves.”

The year that the Olympic Summer Games came through with the mighty torch, Jagannath and I were there at North Shore and Lake Shore when we accidentally bumped into the runner, not physically, but we met at the same intersection.

At the same time as the run, one of our couples from the Toronto community was giving birth to their first child at the Joseph Brant Hospital.  It was at this hospital that I was admitted after a serious foot infection, a result from getting punctured by a dead catfish on a beach in Guyana.  I was on my Guyanese cross-nation walk when this occurred.

These are memories of this trail.  It runs right up the sandy beach where you are likely to find the occasional beachcomber.  The air from the lake is invigorating—at least the many geese think so.

Walking in an area like this, with memories and history woven into it, makes it special apart from nature’s blast of invigoration.

May the Source be with you!


6 km

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

Saturday, September 24th, 2016
Markham, Ontario

Burning Food

Jai Sri is a meek and simple kind of guy.  He’s a monk residing in our ashram in Toronto.  It was his birthday today.

“What’s your age?”  I asked him.

“It’s probably 70,” he said jokingly.

That makes him the seniour-most person living on our premises.  Oh, and then there’s God Himself who outdoes us all in longevity.  In the deity form presiding in our temple, we have Krishna who stands in the three-fold bending form, with the ceremonious flute in hand.

Back to Jai Sri.  He became the reason for the ice cream cake served and honoured at the home of Ramananda Ray in Markham.  It’s rare to see the few residing monks all getting time off to gather together.  Pizza was also on the menu.

Oh yes, it was offered to become prasadam.  The Jews have their kosher, the Muslims their halal, the Christians have their communion.  The Krishna-ites have their prasadam, sanctified food.

It was time to walk off the prasadam, to burn calories and karma.

Karuna Sindhu and I took to Danforth Avenue, not only to walk, but also to visit another congregant for more food.  Holy Moses! (Excuse me.) Holy Krishna!  When does the eating end?!

The walking is indeed a justification for dealing with food at times.  Adventure too.  One fellow saw us and took his head-phones out just to tell us, “You guys, there’s a UFO circling the CN Tower.  You’ve got to see it, man.”

May the Source be with you!




Friday, September 23rd, 2016

Friday, September 23rd, 2016
Kitchener, Ontario

Cremation Within Creation

Rush we did, in our monk van, to Kitchener, for a funeral and cremation.  Brihat was our driver, and on board was Nick, Gordon, Keith and myself.  Gangotri, an 86 year-old, caring kind of devotee, was the deceased person we attempted to revere and respect in the best way possible, in a send-off to a new realm.

To put it in more simple terms, those of us family and friends participated in the last rites for Gangotri’s soul’s journey to a better place.  The event went smoothly. As usual, soft chanting is what truly makes the program—any program—sweet.  It created an atmosphere of comfort, and kept feelings of separation subdued.  The Pillay family was pleased.

As a monk who has a considerably large base of congregations across Canada, participation in events including last rites, weddings, birthdays and samskaras (purificatory rites of passage) is a willing obligation to fulfill.

Bear in mind that there should also be time set aside for some trekking.  Along with the boys, after the cremation and a meal, we ventured off to a trail along the Grand River near Conestoga College.  What a change of terrain this area is, compared to the north, where I was one week ago.  Here, it’s a softer wilderness where apparently native folks, at least the Mohawk, flourished in the 1800’s.  They had the river—which was the source of all their needs—food, travel, water, etc.  The Creator looked kindly upon them.

May the Source be with you!

5 km



Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016
Castleton, Ontario

Real Men

It is my final day with the crew of men working at the farm.  Before we pulled in the last of what we could—tomatoes, Long Island Cheese Squash, beans and basil—yanking out dead bushes and branches, we had a good walk through pretty Campbellford.  There was the Trent Canal, the river portion with gorge and plentiful cedars along the path.  Our promenade also included going over a suspension bridge and through the downtown itself.

As the five of us walked, we chanted on our beads.  We were at first rather chatty, but in the last hour we all got serious.  What a great gang!  I’m so fortunate to have their company.  Each one of them has been very real.  Even as they wait for the breakfast porridge to be set by the table, one by one they take one of the nine month old twin girls, Fil and Sukayanti’s daughters, on their lap, to comfort and play with them.

To me, these guys were being real men, having wholesome topical exchanges, working hard in the out-of-doors, enjoying meals, and discussing Krishna Consciousness.  I feel we are living the Bhagavatam; living what the ancient texts talk about.

Another farm was visited by us.  Jai Chaitanya and Rasa, along with their four kids, secured a farm of sixty acres in Castleton two years ago.  After the work at Fil’s farm, and a scrumptious meal at Jai’s, the boys agreed to two hours of moving and piling bales of hay.

The reward was going wild on the concord grapes from vines that have been there for generations.  Secondly, there was the relishing of a final swim at Little Lake to get clean and relieve the prickly sensation from the hay.  No one complained about the day.

They were real men.

May the Source be with you!

8 km

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016
Picton, Ontario

Good-bye Gangotri

Summer has come to a close, officially and also in the reality sense.  Temperatures are lowering more to the teen category (in Celsius) actually leaving a favourable climate for trekking.

Gordon and I left The Doors Guesthouse for the Trans Canada Trail, now, as we understand it, known as The Great Trail, of which we tackled four kilometres before we made a turn for the highway.

At this location, an osprey nest is situated atop a twenty-five foot (or so) post and platform, a second one we have noticed on this jaunt.

I received a call informing me that two hours before, at 4 a.m., our dear Gangotri passed away.  Born in South Africa, and now a resident of Canada (in truth we are not sure) she led a very pious life.  Gentle, peaceful, full of shanti, she is leaving behind a family, also of outstanding qualities.

We are confident that her departure is merely an entry into a larger family and a home well lit.

Param dharma is the term used in the text Bhagavad-gita, to describe the immortal world where personal cravings are done with.  Desire of an excessive nature is what apparently brings us here into the world of duality.  When our interests are redirected to the divine source, and excessiveness or selfishness is dropped, then we gain a once-and-for-all stable situation.

Our group of morning walkers and farm enthusiasts took that trip to Picton, an hour away, to visit and morally back-up new farmers from the city.  They are Dhyana Chandra and Graham, identical twins.  We scouted their fifty acres, received a tour of their house and a gracious tray of prasadam, blessed food.

May the Source be with you!

8 km



Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016
Hastings, Ontario

At the Civic Centre

Hastings has a civic centre which is located on the top of a hill at Albert and Hwy 45.  Being situated on the lower level of the library makes it a central place people know about.  This became the venue for our presentation, “Tales from Trails.”  With this presentation, I basically took the attendees—over fifty in number—for a walk across the country, mentally.

Attendees were attentive.  What a marvelous group of mature people they were.  Should I expect anything else?  We are looking at thoughtful, mindful folks.

Skye was the real hero for the event, in my opinion.  She secured the venue, called friends to come, did additional promotion and was the brains behind the set up.  She’s a networker, practical and conscientious.

Fil came with his produce, for sale and for talking about.  “Beyond Organic” is his slogan.  He met people also in his field, among them organic farmers, bakers, and professionals. Down to earth people indeed.

Tony, from the Norwood Holistic Centre, arrived and began the kirtan, which engaged people in singing and clapping.

Kirtan (the person) brought her home-made wraps as refreshments, enjoyed by all.

The line of credits to a successful program goes on.  Perhaps the most curious of questions that arose was, “What type of shoes do you use for the long-haul walking?”

Answer, kyboots, Swiss technology and Italian-made.

May the Source be with you!

7 km




Monday, September 19th, 2016

Monday, September 19th, 2016
Hastings, Ontario

Beans and Things

Brhat and Nick took to tomato harvest.  Keith and Gordon went at rewinding the water-line and hose system, and I got at the bean gathering.  As I was about to start picking, Gordon told a joke.

“You know why you can never keep a secret on the farm?”

“No, I don’t know.”

“Because the corn has ears, the potatoes have eyes and the beanstalk.”

“Very funny, Gordon.  On that note, I’ll start gathering the beans.”

There is a fervent push now to get crops in.  Everything is a race against time, before the first frost hits.

In regard to frost, I encouraged Gordon to try the wild grapes as we were trekking the Trans Canada Trail before gardening.  He took a clump and put them in his mouth.  Generally after the first frost, the grapes are sweet, but even at this stage, before the light freeze, those grapes were nice—tart but nice.

After the laborious morning of farm-related tasks, lunch was to aspire for.  Succulent it was.  Then, most deserving, came the swim.  I remember a limestone quarry in the area with pristine water.  Our crew’s eyes widened, at the discovery, and soon their bodies wettened.

While outdoor farm-life goes on, there is a constant contemplation over people I know.  Gangotri is a devotee who is in her old age, dying.  Another friend, Yamala, has a dad who was in a serious auto accident.  Prayers and thoughts are being sent.

May the Source be with you!

7 km



Sunday, September 18th, 2016

Sunday, September 18th, 2016
Hastings, Ontario

Gordon hails from Red Lake, Ontario where eagles galore, are there, out to soar.  He stays in a tiny cabin in the wilderness near Wawa.  He’s a real drifter, but does his drifting via bicycle.  He caught onto the Trans Canada Trail (TCT), but lost it somewhere along the way.  This does indeed happen.  My last trip across Canada took me through Oxford, Nova Scotia on the TCT.  Suddenly, it just came to an end.  I looked for confirmation on this and indeed locals told me the same.  So where do you pick up this trail then, which is supposed to go from coast to coast?

No answer!

So, I’m lost.  And that’s the reality of the TCT.  It lacks good signage.  Next year, it will be called The Great Trail, I’m told.  Many sections of trails will be linked to form and finalize it, in preparation for Canada’s 150th birthday.

Let’s see what The Walking Monk makes of it.  I still have the youthful passion to explore.  I want to know what hidden secrets lie along this and other paths.  Each new route brings an essential treasure, which is Krishna in nature’s form.

Some people are enthralled by what new arrivals are on display and up on sale at the shopping mall.  For me, the adventure lies in the trail, the forest and the field.  There is no match or comparison in this regard.

May the Source be with you!

12 km



Saturday, September 17th, 2016

Saturday, September 17th, 2016
Hastings, Ontario

Chill at the Farm

Back I am into farmland and the countryside, and with two extra men—Gordon and Keith.  That makes five of us—Brihat, Nick, Gordon, Keith and myself.  We are here for a final week to assist in harvest, barn clean-up, yard clean-up, canning goods and whatever else necessity dictates.  We leave the dictating to the Supreme, while we, His servants, are the instruments.

Fil and Sukayanti are the proprietors of Govardhan Farms, on Friendly Acres Road, where we converged with a host of other folks, mostly from the city, for an Open House.  “Open Barn” would be the more appropriate nomenclature.  All attendees were made aware of operations on the farm—this included Suzanne Atkinson, journalist for the weekly publication “Ontario Farmer.”  She found it unique to learn Fil and Sukayanti’s approach to agriculture, which includes a sanctuary for cows, bulls (and cats I imagine), in addition to cultivating good quality, organic food, or what Fil refers to as “Beyond Organic.”  Generally, Suzanne reports on cash crops/cattle raising dynamics.  This is different for her.

The visit to Govardhan Farms is always full of educational and physical workout opportunities, time to bond with people, animals, and the earth.  Chilling-out is also a component.  Young Nimai is 3.  He loves the barn and the hay.  Lemonade with mint and cookies—home-made—gave it that down-home feel.  Just after lunch, we had a look at YouTube on New Walkers Popadums.

May the Source be with you!

4 km 

Friday, September 16th, 2016

Friday, September 16th, 2016
Niagara Falls, Ontario

At the Falls

I spoke to the Nama Ruchi monks before we began to do some kirtan, public chanting. Out of respect for the famous falls itself, and the people who have come to view the awesome waters rushing down, I said, “Take a few minutes to appreciate it, and perhaps see it as a spark of Krishna’s splendour.”  I told them that I see it as God in liquid form.

Once photos were taken and time spent to absorb this great wonder of the world, we set out on the streets where pedestrians were in motion.  Naturally, people are anticipating something unique when they arrive at this tourist destination, and they are coming from all over the world.

At the Hard Rock CafĂ©, from the stage, a musician, a guitarist, welcomed us in.  He heard our vocalist playing the accordion and asked, “What key?”  He took the note and played along with our mantra.  The customers seemed to enjoy the sound from their tables and beer.  I found it interesting that it was an older crowd.  Everyone deserves a chance to chant and, if boldness will allow, to dance.

Out of all the people we encountered, perhaps the most enthusiastic for singing and jigging were a couple of oriental elderly men who took the prize.  They were jolly good in their gyrating.  They wouldn’t stop.  They were so excited.

There is a following of devotees in Niagara Falls, and it was lined up for us that we would lunch with time.  A lot of output goes into pleasing the crowds.  I’m starting to see how these men, the Nama Ruchi group, are on a roadshow of sorts, and constantly on the move.  Their next stop is Chicago.  It’s a twelve hour bus ride for them.  Their visit to the Falls and Canada was just too short.

May the Source be with you!

4 km

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

Thursday, September 15th, 2016
Toronto, Ontario

Ruchi Group in Town

The Nama Ruchi group is in town.  World travelers, they are.  Four of their members were kind enough to honour my request from last year.  We are looking at a foursome—young, healthy, strong, enthusiastic monks whose mandate is to give a taste (ruchi) of the name (Krishna’s).

The timing is perfect for their arrival to the city, because we are in the midst of the TIFF, The Toronto International Film Festival.  To my understanding, the public is drawn to venues of new film releases.  Secondly, many renowned and upcoming actors make their appearances.  The Nama Ruchi group and some local devotees, including my humble self, drove to hip Kensington Market, and from there, on foot, processioned our way through the entertainment district on King Street and its adjoining roads.

People were lined up like crazy at the film venues, down and around the block.  They were anticipating to see “the stars.”  As we chanted along these queues, I witnessed some glum-to-grave looking faces light up at the sight and sound of us; the sound being sweet and melodic with a reggae kick.

I really felt like saying to some of these fans, “You came to see the stars, but you may be barking up the wrong tree.  The stars are in the sky and they are accompanied by a fairly full moon.  Your high rises are blocking out reality.”  In any event, the public came to be entertained and perhaps we could be considered the opening act.

May the Source be with you!

6 km

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016
Washington/Toronto

Getting Guidance

I had delivered a class based on a verse from the book, the Bhagavatam, 11:7:38, at the temple in Potomac.  The entire chapter seven is very instructive as it expounds upon the concept of guru—the concept of giving guidance.  It is in this text that Sri Krishna shares the example of how a sadhu learned about life from gurus known as the mountain and the tree.  I will simply copy the purport to the verse.

“Great mountains bear unlimited quantities of earth, which in turn gives sustenance to innumerable forms of life such as trees, grass, birds, animals, and so on. Mountains also pour forth unlimited quantities of crystalline water in the form of waterfalls and rivers, and this water gives life to all. By studying the example of mountains, one should learn the art of providing for the happiness of all living entities. Similarly, one may take excellent lessons from the pious trees, who offer innumerable benefits, such as fruits, flowers, cooling shade and medicinal extracts. Even when a tree is suddenly cut down and dragged away, the tree does not protest but continues to give service to others in the form of firewood. Thus, one should become the disciple of such magnanimous trees and learn from them the qualities of saintly conduct.”

Here Sri Krishna tells of two gurus, or teachers, that we find in nature.  It is through the words of the sadhu that we discover, in addition to the mountain and the tree, there are other elements which become instructors, totalling twenty-four.  This is an incredible, educational offer to all of humanity and that’s why the book, Bhagavatam, is such a gem.

May the Source be with you!

5 km

  

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016
Washington, D.C.

The Guy on the Parkway

Bharat, a lively member from the Potomac Vaishnav community, drove a group of us to the Gala event at the Capital Hilton, when the passengers asked about some of my walking experiences.  So I obliged.

Nearing the end of one of the selected adventures, I said something for them to think about.“When one walks, you are more inclined to be God-centered.  That holds true more-so than for those in a car.  An automobile can make you cold and callous, like the machine itself.”

Just as I made the statement, we noted a fellow, likely homeless, walking along the parkway we were on.  I rolled down the window and got the fellow’s attention. “Hey, you’re a hero for walking.”

His response was, “I’m walking after just having a triple bypass.”  With that, he pulled down his T shirt, as much as it would go from the neck, to reveal the medical marks.

“We think it’s great you’re on foot,” I reiterated.

“The good Lord is allowing me to do it,” he shouted back, in appreciation for the divine benefit he’s received.

In any event, I made the point about the connection between walking and spirituality, and right on cue, an affirmation came about.  The passengers and Bharat were questioning, “How could this be so?”  Something was magical in all of this.

The event at the Hilton was a milestone.  To commemorate ISKCON’s fifty years is remarkable.  Many speakers, including Congresswoman Tulasi Gabbard, honoured the achievements of ISKCON’s noble work.  She even picked up a ukelele and led all folks present in the chanting of Hare Krishna.

May the Source be with you!

0 km



Monday, September 12th, 2016

Monday, September 12th, 2016
Toronto/Washington

Walking Monk Goes to Washington

I would like to use the phrase “hop, skip and a jump” with regard to my journey today, but that’s not how it works for aircraft travel.  The flight from Thunder Bay to Toronto was brief. It wasn’t choppy, as the phrase suggests, nor was the one to Washington D.C.  The journeys were short and sweet, or more truthfully, sweet, because they were short.

I arrived at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to be picked up by a Nepalese devotee, Chaitanya Nitai by name.  It is an enviable airport in that a gorgeous trail leads you directly into it.  It runs along the Potomac River and then under a canopy of a thousand trees.  This trail accommodates walkers and cyclists who can then come right up to the airport entrance.  I thought you could only do that in Thunder Bay.

I feel indeed honoured to reach the U.S. capital city to participate in ISKCON’s Historic 50th Anniversary, for it was fifty years ago that America started to acknowledge the work which was being done by Srila Prabhupada.  From 1966, when papers were signed and registered in New York City, to the early winter of ’77, a span of a mere eleven years, he established a worldwide adjustment in consciousness.  His aim was to approach life with a lighter tone, to experience bhakti, the essence of human sentiment.

Not all the world, at this point, has recognized his great worth.  The event tomorrow, held at the Capital Hilton, is a gesture to give credit where it is due.

May the Source be with you!

0 km

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

Sunday, September 11th, 2016
Thunder Bay, Ontario

By the Side of the Road

By the side of the road, there was this substantial piece of a body of a deceased raccoon.  Let’s say he was one third there.  Millions of maggots were stirring about, chewing whatever they could as part of nature’s recycling department.  One day later, Nick and I, witnesses to the feast, saw what was left.  But for a few bones, practically the whole thing had vanished over a period of twenty-four hours.  It was just astounding what we observed in terms of the clean-up.  Hardly any fur was left.  We were in south central Ontario near Hastings.

Today, Prem and I ventured onto the body of the Sleeping Giant.  No, it is not a carcass.  It’s actually a beautiful provincial park, situated in this northern region off of Lake Superior.  I always wanted to mosey on over and explore the old boy, who, according to myth, was an old chief who went to slumber after hearing a prophecy that the White Man was coming.

This park, which has the formation of a peninsula, resembles a large reclining person (reminding me of the horizontal Vishnu lying in water) and features many walking trails.  People take full advantage of them.  You have many choices.

Prem and I decided to take the trail to the Sea Lion rock formation.  Said to be shaped over a billion years ago, you can currently witness what’s left of it.  We were a bit disappointed to see the head clipped off due to erosion; due to time actually.  Once, it had the semblance of a lion resting on his haunches.

That then is the work of the all-powerful we call time.  It wears away everything, even our own bodies, precious as they are.  The Gita reminds us that God is time.

May the Source be with you!

14 km

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

Saturday, September 10th, 2016
Thunder Bay, Ontario

Doing Things Right

I arrived at the Thunder Bay Airport only to have to wait.  A call came on my phone.

“I’ll be there in a minute,” said Prem.

He arrived and we drove to Lake Boulevard.

There, I met young new students, twenty-five or so, fresh from India.  It was their first time in Canada and their first week to start a new phase in their lives.  And, it was their first time meeting a white swami.

Prem has a way of doing things well.  He and his wife, Sneha, take these young enthusiasts and make them feel at home.  They are oriented to the beauty of nature around, then a walk by the lake, a picnic, an introduction to the quaint temple on Victoria Ave—which has attached to it, a shop for Indian goods—food and clothes.  Samosas, of course, are a regular feature.

Overall, the most important way of making the students—who are all bright and really value their education—feel comfortable,  is by helping them realize they have each other’s friendship, as well as the mentorship of Prem and his wife.  The students are made to feel right at home while they get totally accustomed to Canada and their school.

Well, the walk around the lake was great.  They got to understand what a Frisbee course was, and in  the end, after our picnic, they went on to playing cricket.

The last two evening hours were spent with Prem, in his home, viewing the results of his work, and the students watching last year’s Festival of Colours.  The displays and the stage show were phenomenal.  He and his team do a lot of things right.  They especially excel in newcomer care.

May the Source be with you!

5 km



Friday, September 9th, 2016

Friday, September 9th, 2016
Hastings, Ontario

Exercise: The Drug That Does it All

It is an eight kilometre trek for Nick and I.  Brihat leapfrogs us with the van, but does some walking, too.  That gets us from the centre of Hastings, at the guest-house where we are staying, to Govardhan Farms on Friendly Acres Road.  It’s a pleasant walk with little traffic.  We relish the countryside sights, sounds and smells.

Eight kilometres is great for a morning workout.  We also get a good portion of our allotted soft-volume chanting done.  And when we arrive at the eco-friendly farm, we put ourselves to work, harvesting tomatoes, squash, beans and okra.  It’s the bending over and squatting that works extra muscles.

I’m compelled to quote from this month’s “Time” magazine in regard to—in particularwalking and yoga.

For strength, yoga is beneficial.

“Lift your own body weight and flow through intense poses, and yoga will give you strength with a side of mindfulness and stress relief.”

For cardio, walking excels.

“With the lowest quit rate of any type of exercise, walking improves memory, well-being, heart health and even creativity.”

In the article, McMaster University’s Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky concludes his research with “The most effective therapy available to my patients right now is exercise.”

It’s not surprising that more than half of all baby boomers report doing no exercise whatsoever, and 80.2 million Americans over the age of six are entirely inactive.

For the sake of longevity, optimism and service to others, let’s do the workout needed.

May the Source be with you!

8 km



Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Thursday, September 8th, 2016
Hastings, Ontario

Skye Has No Limit

Our landlady at The Doors Guesthouse is quite awesome.  She surprises us with her gifts, remarks and hospitality.  For instance, knowing I’m a traveler with a spot of patriotism in me, she offered as a present, the perfect book to savour—a hard-bound Canadian Book of the Road.

I’m reading, or at least pursuing it, Skye. Skye Morrison is her name.

Today, she brought over a mini wooden, toy sculpture of “Krishna and the Gopis Vastra Haran,” that is Krishna’s teasing the young maidens during their river-bath hour.  It’s surely a conversation piece.  Skye insists we bring this objet d’art from her home to the Hastings Civic Centre on Sept. 20th where I’ll be speaking on “Tales from Trails.”

Her remarks, well, they are light-hearted.  The bag of Indian snacks we have, she calls “snakes” because that’s the way they pronounce it in India, where she spends five months of every year.  The local “Hysterical Society is what she calls the Historical  Society, and being a member herself, I guess she has the right to speak endearingly about the people there whom she loves.

The quarters she provides for us to occupy are homey, and old (for Canada)—a 160 year old structure of charm.  The ceiling is red and the walls are yellow, which reminds me of Van Gogh’s room, which he painted, naturally.

Hastings is a quiet town where people can retire or raise a family in a relatively safe place.  I’m getting to meet residents, one by one, after a few hours of chores at the farm.

Simple living, high thinking!

May the Source be with you!

7 km

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016
Hastings, Ontario

Red

If I were to colour the day, it would be red.  Red is what I see, and I shared it with one of the boys, Brihat.

As part of our chores for these last two days, we’ve taken to Fil’s expansive garden and harvested the darling—big, firmly ballooned chunks of circular happiness—tomatoes.  Minus pesticides, these tomatoes are not on the food list of the dirty dozen, and are screaming with redness for attention.

Harvest—we did.  Cleaning, cutting, cooking and canning—we did.  We even rationed some of the day’s sauce we had cooked to flavour the pasta we ate.

Mama Mia!

This month, September, is the best month for tomatoes around here.  The red comes through those green vines.  Red also is the colour slowly creeping up from within the trees.  It is the chlorophyll which supplies the leaves of the tree with a green colour.  The autumn hues, slowly surfacing, are from the lack of chlorophyll.  We are left with bright oranges, yellows, burgundies and reds all making a pronounced presence by the end of September.

There is also an avatar by the name of Yajna and He has the complexion of red.  Red is wanted, craved for, especially when the snow white sets in for months at a time.  Only the red dogwood stands out as a rival to the snow.  They actually complement each other, in my opinion. 

Here I go, sounding like a horticulturalist or a botanist.  I’m really just seeing the colour red in nature.  I haven’t dreamt in red, not even of tomatoes, but during the course of these few days, we are consuming a lot.

May the Source be with you!

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