Long Sault, Ontario
Click goes the camera. A man at customs for the US snapped a shot as I was leaving Cornwall with Montreal couple, Rasamrita and Krishna Devi near the US Canada bridge. The man stepped out of his customs station and said, “Good luck with your walk.” So the news is out, The Walking Monk’s in town. Kacper from Ottawa came to join us in the trek and so did Karana Karana, with her daughter, Vishva Devi. Mother and daughter came all the way from Hamilton. The little army is growing, the bonding is developing.
What is really unique about the left turn we made was an entering into a paradise of sorts. The Saint Lawrence Sea Way with all its islands has an interesting history. In the late 50’s, 6500 residents in the area were relocated to make way for a flooding. This was intentional to create a waterway that would dispel the rapid and provide enough depth to have cargo ocean liners come through. On what is called Inundation Day, people saw their properties which included five villages go under water. Many homes were moved and some burned to the ground prior to the flooding. What you are left with is a series of hilltops that are now lovely islands.
Our trip today, boiling as we were under the sun, took us to a park way linking several patches of serene islands. Swim we did and then we drove with speed to Brockville to meet Donna Wilson who hosted us for a meal at home. We ended up having a delicious meal, along with Lucy, Karana Karana’s step mom and Donna’s kids. The kids are into eating pork and that’s what they indulged in. But we thought nothing of it while sticking to our veggies. The kids couldn’t resist her menu, they added that to their meal. The oldest boy, Elijah, is a top athlete and student in school. Recently he suffered from a serious sprained ankle. Donna, his mom, said that I have special connections with someone above who can help. Be that as it may, I offered to offer a day’s walk and mantras in Elijah’s honour.
Donna opened up her yoga studio to us where I delivered a talk on the merits of using your feet and using your mantras. I attempted to balance walking tales with philosophy and then culminate with kirtan (chanting). Indeed, it was a magical time with the attendees. Donna is a gracious host.
Megan came from The Recorder and Times Paper, and Andy from Snap Magazine also arrived to cover the story of the walk. The day was really intense as we were trying to fit everything in. The sweet chanting and the end of the day made up for any strain and fatigue under the sun.