Pioneers made roads out of planks. Planks are what formed our path today. At the Beaches, you have this boardwalk which may not have been laid out by the first Europeans, but was constructed more recently for beach walkers. I like the feel on the feet, with or without shoes. Srila Prabhupada, our guru, graced the boards with his feet 37 years ago. I’m assuming that they are the same reclining tree slats that we are walking on today. In any event, this sandy region situated by one of the world’s largest lakes, Lake Ontario, is visited by hundreds of local runners and walkers every day.
I’m sure that a strip of trail about 3 km in length is touched by many established folks in the area. You’ve got yoga students stretching here, and you’ve got geese and gulls making their rounds in the air. They prefer more the water than the sand and the planks. At the eastern most point of the trail, it becomes a perfect place for a Brahmin, a twice initiated devotee, to sit in tranquility and chant his/her gayatri mantras, which opens with meditations on the presence of God in the sun. The sun did show its glow at the hour at 5:30 am or there abouts.
There are many events going on in the world at this time with issues on people’s minds. We could talk about them, such as high school kids taking Adderall and Vyvanse drugs to get a higher test score. Or we could speak about the European debt crisis as a possible German conspiracy. Or we could converse about the decline in teens going for their driving license because texting is not allowed. Such surprising occurrences should not serve to shock us in this crazy mundane existence.
The most important event for our little group of japa walkers on the board walk is enjoying the walk, the sun, and each other. While we have concerns for the social challenges of the world, a simple act of what we were doing at the beach became our day’s affirmation that we are touching this earth and with the chanting that we are doing, is allowing us to deal with the challenges that come our way today.