Thursday, 25 July 2019

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

Emo, Ontario


There is this guy named the "Gentle Bear Man" who operates a bear sanctuary in north-western  Ontario.  I went to visit him in 2012 when I walked in the area.  The wild bears in the region have come to know him, love him and trust him.  During that trip, he brought me into his Sanctuary with eleven bears all around us.  And because they love him, they trusted me to be in their midst.  I fed a female black bear a pastry from my hand.  I could feel her spirit.  She was not defensive, only a little shy.

My company of seven, our Roadshow, which is more or less disbanded for now, and who I led to this remote Sanctuary, were a little disappointed at not seeing some bears.  The Gentle Bear Man wasn't home.  One of his other friends, a deer, however, came around the corner, demonstrated his curiosity, moved toward me and licked my hand.  It was the closest I have ever been to a deer.  It seemed he only knew affection.  We were all taken by this animal’s forwardness, and his tender way.

During this entire trip, I was in anticipation of seeing and coming close to wildlife.  I guess you could say that desire was fulfilled.

More of nature came our way.  Just off Highway 71 is a Provincial Park, Rushing River, a place I was formerly acquainted with.  This vibrant and very living flow of water is another form of ‘wildlife’.  It was a stop worth making.

In Kenora, population 15,000, we had a kirtan at the city's Bandshell. It was sweet.  And so was the traffic west of Kenora.  We were held up for two hours with construction workers installing a culvert.  Anyway, I took the opportunity to walk while traffic was still. I met and made many friends this way.

May the Source be with you!
5 km

Monday, July 22nd, 2019

Fort Frances, Ontario

I Walked Here Before

I trekked along Memorial Avenue in Thunder Bay, in a fresh moment of wind and with sunshine doing its round once again.  Destination was the Sanskrit Bazaar / Temple, and there our party conducted a mini, morning program with Reflections on Canto 1 from the book Bhagavatam.  The main message we absorbed from those few moments was, "Whatever you learn share it—share it because you will remember it, retain it and you also will benefit the recipient."

Our route to drive, once in the van, was Highway 11, the quiet Trail.  I had walked this road before, twice, and now again, reminiscing on those walks.  I recall observing the Great Eagle, the Moose, the Beaver.  It is one of the best canoe areas in the world, a wondrous water land.  At Quetico Provincial Park, our party of eight went to satisfy our curiosity.  After all, drivers need a break as much as passengers.  For one hour we acquainted ourselves with its Lake and Beach.  Pristine!

Now it was time to reach Fort Frances, where at the downtown Rainy Lake Square, we set up for tonight's show.  Nice outdoor venue.  The stage, awning and landscaping weren’t here the time I walked through in 2012.  Nice development.

Mayor Carol came to the program and addressed the crowd of about 200 or more.  She said over the mic, "We don't have this type of event very much in Fort Frances."  I met her after the show was over and she expressed appreciation.  There were two glitches, however.  First, our caterers got in an accident and couldn't make it on time.  Tickets were to be refunded at $30.00 a head.  Also, our sound wasn't up to par musically.

Overall, the best people in town turned up for a unique cultural display.

May the Source be with you!
5 km

Sunday, July 21st, 2019

Thunder Bay, Ontario

Darrel Left

I guess Darrel has left to continue his long walk to Nova Scotia.  Apparently he did not make his presence known at the Festival of Colours, held at the same location at Marine Park, where on the previous day the Festival of India stood out in its glory.

What a day it was!  So many happy people.  So many people were chanting mantras.  A  big help in this regard was Malini Taneja, the dancer/singer extraordinaire who led most of the colour throws in the air.  She's young, pretty and talented.  Sharing the stage with her was a local MC professional.  I didn't catch his name.  He was good but wasn't able to share the mantras or dance moves that Malini could.  I've known Malini since she was a baby, and it is just wonderful that she has grown into this nice adult and devotee.

Fortunately I was able to keep free of any colours latching onto my clothes.  This in fact, was my first colour festival here, and I know that each event like this becomes  a cause for good clean fun, but I am not sure that providence has it for me to attend another.  If asked, however, I'll come.

As in most social events, I take the time to wind down by walking back to my sleeping quarters.  Gaura and I made the day's last steps along Lake Superior where seagulls so much abound.  Not far off in the bay lies the great Sleeping Giant, a massive rock formation resembling a great chief in slumber.  It was a hint for us to pack-in the day.

May the source be with you!
7 km