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Saturday, May 6th, 2023

Sparta, New Jersey

It is almost the perfect weather, just a notch above 70° Fahrenheit. Boy, I left that non-metric calculation behind years ago when Canada switched to metric. Here I am in the USA, and as the saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Okay, but I prefer using kilometres when it comes to measuring distance. For today it was six kilometres on foot. A portion of that footwork was enroute to a home program, a sangha.

My host, Hari Pada, drove me to his home destination, and in the process, realized midway he had forgotten something and had to turn back. “I’ll walk,” I told him, “let me have a taste of your state.” He obliged. “Just pick me up on your return.”

New Jersey has beautiful hills, but where I took the liberty to walk (until he returned) was flat terrain. Nostalgia for me. Secondly, the two-lane road here was flanked by greenhouses and nurseries which were named very Dutch. My parents came from the Netherlands, the land of green-thumbed people. The names from signs here are ‘Vander-this’ and ‘Vander-that.’ One sign reads ‘Dutch Reformed Christian School.’ Yes, that sounds familiar – hardworking conservative people into family. I grew up in this atmosphere.

My actual affiliation though, is more with folks from Southeast Asia, and has been for years. In fact, at Hari Pada and Sandamini’s home, except for a Filipino woman, all others are from India to the exclusion of their American-born children. We had a bliss of a time. My presentation always includes a word or purport from Prabhupada. I lead kirtan and read poetry. There was a good reaction to the creativity. Super fun and philosophically deep enough.

6 km
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