Compassion is one of the great virtues. This, I was compelled to embrace when meeting the first person I’d had interaction with today. It was before 7 AM on Highway 2, Galup Canal. The sun had come up proudly making pink the disbursed light clouds.
I gave a nod to an oncoming motorist. It was a woman, she made a U turn and then stopped in front of me at the shoulder of the road. She came out of the car and left the door open with the radio playing. I recognized the song, it was Johnny Cash singing “Walk The Line”. With no intro, she asked in a slurred voice, “What are you doing?” I know it was alcohol that caused the slowing of words.
I explained I was on foot across the country promoting pilgrimage, but that wasn’t too interesting to her. She offered to take me to a beautiful spot along the canal. Her pet dog waiting in the cab of the car was to have a good swim in the water. I declined saying that I couldn’t leave the road for fear I would lose sight of Daruka, my support person.
The face of the woman went from anticipation to eating a sour lemon. What could be done? I’m a monk and monks have little to do with the opposite sex. Politeness is a way of dealing with the other gender, and to be quick about it. I felt bad that she was disappointed and I let her know I’m doing as Johnny is singing, I’m walking the line, the line of dharma, duty and obligation. She then got back in the driver’s seat to leave with her pet without a third entity. I wish her the best.
Somehow or other it was a day for ladies. Maria stopped and asked for blessings for her daughter, the passenger, who was feeling a little down. I offered her some mantras. I also came upon Preyana who has a guru in Risikesha in the Himalayas. Her husband is also initiated into a spiritual tradition from India. I chatted with more folks along the way including some deep sea divers who were preparing to go down to check out some shipwrecks on the Saint Lawrence.
For a break Daruka and I drove to Ottawa to deliver a class I delivered on 9.15 from the Gita, a verse about sacrifice and the compassion that’s invoked by doing so.