Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Thanks to slow methodical care of Jack and the crew at Wolfsburg, the van ran strong and trouble-free over Grant’s pass and along Mt. Shasta, delivering us, with confidence, to two acres of a Sacramento suburb. And that’s when I had my moment of concern. Maybe it was only apprehension.

We made brief introductions with some of the staff here at the Meditation Center, toured the gardens and imagined how inviting the pool would be if the weather were warmer. The yoga studio is a converted barn with heavy exposed beams and lush wool carpet. A mural of Krishna and his brother (?) standing in a garden of Eden covers one wall. The air is citrus-spiced but fresh. A tapestry is centered on the south wall.
“Om Hari Om
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna…”

In the kitchen, persimmons crackle in the dehydrator. Vidjapatie offers potato salad, “really more of a vegetable salad with peas and carrot, celery, and the good mayonnaise- not with egg.” The salad has chives and apple, no onion. “Onion has too much passion.”

Andrei, a middle age polish man, melts butter at the stove. He has walnuts soaking in a shallow bowl. “You should always buy nuts at the Russian store. At health food store, like $8 a pound. Russian store, maybe $2.” With carpenter hands, he rolls balls of dough through shredded coconut. His cd skips. The Krisha chants and bells repeat more than usual.

I went to bed last night wondering what to expect in our stay with the Hare Krishnas. I woke this morning to singing, chanting, bells and three bellows of a conch shell. They meditate every morning. If we’re up at 6:00, we’re welcome to join in. For an hour, my dreams rose and fell with their enchanting songs.

We fed the goats, made breakfast and Brad and I spoke silently about how best to navigate this spiritual world. Uddhava brought us the “WWOOF information“ book, a series of notes for volunteers. "It's almost like a transcendental hostel here, " she said as we talked about the day's chores- picking beets, turning compost, walking the injured dog.

“…You’ll find that we like to chant the Hare Krishna maha mantra here, but do know that we are not Hare Krishnas!!” Paragraph 5 of our book raises as many questions as it answers.

65 degrees is short sleeve weather. We thinned turnip and bok choy seedlings, cleared beds of dead corn and lettuce, thought about climbing the neighbors persimmon tree, and caught a frog Ukiah named Putt-Putt.

Tomorrow we’ll visit lamas at the Rudolph Steiner College farm. I wonder if the kids will bring their GameBoys.


Matt said...

Nora, heard of a house that needs sitting from Jan7-15 in Nevada City. Think it might be up your alley. We're on the road and I don't have your email handy. Would you email me at peace

nora said...

Thanks for the tip Matt, hope it works out! We're no longer rushing to Texas, so are now trying to figure out a longer California stay. Partly because it seems like we might want to wait until after the holidays to hit Disneyland. Hmm... And partly because the orchard will need more help in January.
Happy travels to you, too!