Cheating or Chanting
Pelee Island, Ontario
Underrated and a best kept secret is this island in the center of Lake Erie, the southernmost part of Canada and which latitudinally sits south of Northern California. It is Pelee Island. When the French first came to this area they called it Pelee, because it was considered empty. Well, that it is in a sense. There’s so little going on here that’s bad. The year round residents are 160 people. There’s so little traffic with automobiles which makes it like a walkers and cyclists paradise. All 25 km or so of trail.
I had arranged with a group of devotional people, congregants from Toronto, to have a pleasant day for bonding and “chilling”. It was just that. It included swimming and Frisbee throwing. With mantra words the men tossed the disc in the air hoping to keep afloat the Frisbee at the count of 108 without touching the water. We enjoyed outdoor cooking and eating, reading and chanting. Daruka, my support driver for the walk caught me cycling, which he photographed. A caption to that might read, “Walking Monk Ends Up Cheating.”
Truly, this day was meant to be that, a break from the regular doing. And so the entire circumference of the island became our trail on wheels. What a piece of heaven this place is – peaceful with perfect water and beach all around. The ferry ride back to the mainland, a 1 ½ hour cruise, opened the door to kirtan chanting with dolak drum and guitar all the way back. The captain of his ship in all his years had never seen anything like it, with passengers dancing along with us. Even he and crew took breaks to indulge, only up to the point where duty would not be jeopardized. After a full day of physical and spiritual workout, our contingent bore down in a wholesome kind of way and was grateful for the Krishna fun that we experienced.
25 Km (on wheels)