Last night I went outside and the air was saturated with crickets and cicadas, wondering when the katydids will start sounding.

Overhead I could see the brightest stars in the sky, all the North Dakota stars filtered out by particulates in the air.

At midnight Janmastami the Deity arotik began and a press of bodies surged to the altar rail.   A tall head floated about them, the altar lights reflected off the freshly shaved head. Under that reflection the sunken eyes and sallow complexion of it’s too late cancer fervently chanted.

Vyasapuja Day, the birthday of my guru Srila Prabhupada, I kept my arms up the whole gurupuja and did the few spins I have left in my quiver.  Sikhi Mahiti was also dancing, a single yellow petal still balanced on his bare shoulder, ten minutes after the pushpanjali, offering of flowers to the guru, was over.

Karusa visited and we ate together on the lawn of the temple. He toiled for years, almost a decade,  in the basement of the pink building at Bahulaban, cutting and polishing the marble that adorns Prabhupada’s Palace. He still bears scars from when he was injured trying to save some large marble slabs from falling and breaking.

Karusa

Somewhere a stiff  black walnut leaf floats on water, blown along by breezes, an early harbinger of autumn.

Somewhere a child skins her knee and is comforted by her mother.

Somewhere the last notes of a bhajan in a minor key echo off a stone cliff  and reach a hungry ear.

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