Food, Students and Paw-Paw
I spent the bulk of the day in
the residence of Chandra and Kalpana with their son Gertik (it’s his birthday),
14, and daughter Dashika, 11. They live in a place called Dublin, a bedroom
community to Columbus.
Ohio state university at 60,000
students has one of the largest student populations in the US. Chandra was kind
to take me to several park trails. The area is just perfectly manicured with
grass. The entire neighborhood, in fact, with ponds, fountains and trees,
leaves one in awe of this type of paradise. But where are the weeds?
Monday night at the campus is the
time for students to come for a demo on cooking, conducted by Alankara and Sri
Radha. This evening the feature was without any cuisine routine. The actual
weekly meal dominated the 7:00-8:30 pm timeslot. However, before any students
could apply their lips to the vegan delicacies of today, I was asked to deliver
a “Tales From the Trails” talk. I was trying to help the listeners, numbering
60+, to imagine themselves as monastic people going on a long introspective
walk. Included in the talk was some of the foraging that I had done in the
course of walking. One student raised his hand, Joshua, and let me know that
one of the prized fruits in the district, that was part of native foraging, is
the paw-paw. I was raised in a section of the Carolinian forest, in southern
Ontario, and apparently it grows on my home turf in the wild. Probably the
local Whitetail deer thrive on it. I was so happy to learn more about the
outdoors and can’t wait to try one of those fruits.
May the Source be with you!