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The Tube

A gaucho village beckoned. It offered silence from the chaos of a city that never sleeps, of honking car horns, dump trucks pounding pot holes, and the buzz of incessant activity. A gust of wind picked up as I descended from the public bus. It dusted the old cars with dirt parked nearby as well as a group of middle-aged women carrying plastic grocery bags. I observed their sun-beat skin and preoccupied looks with curiosity.  I moved through the village streets with melancholy as if I had been there before in my dreams. To this quiet place of horses, farmland, and simplicity.  I arrived at a park and found shade under a maple tree. I wondered about the last rain when I rested my backpack on grass colored brown. There I contemplated the quietude of this far off place. There was a creek and it flowed through the park forming different pools for swimming or dipping. A small waterfall pounded slippery rocks down the hill from me. I could see one of the swimming holes straight ahead about t…
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A Story of Walking In Nature

I walk in nature. I walk along a trail that leads somewhere. It is nestled into the green growth of a forest whose trees reach the sky. The singing of birds echo in my ears, each with a distinct song and message. One bird here and one bird there. I hear the branches of the trees as they sway in the subtle breeze. I notice my footsteps on the dirt path. A dog barks in the distance but I know it is not mine. My dog, Barish, is near, jumping over fallen trees, smelling the scent of animals, and investigating the home of a creature below the ground. The trail takes me to a stream. Flowing water fills my eyes, ears, and heart. It tries to calm the endless thoughts that rumble through my mind like freight trains. I walk over a footbridge and it bounces against my weight. From my view the stream now sparkles in the sunlight, its rays pouring down from the heavens.  My busy mind continues unabated even if nature is slowly winning. I walk along a straightaway into an area without sun but inste…

Reflections from Cuba

In April, I traveled to Cuba to connect with the Cuban people and to see a country that battled with the United States government for decades following Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution.

The recent thaw in diplomatic relations between the two countries began in 2014 under former President Barack Obama and subsequently loosened travel restrictions for US citizens to the small Caribbean island, joining scores of Canadian and European visitors.
There were many sides to the story of life in this small communist nation of nearly 11 million inhabitants and a reported GDP above USD 80 billion in 2015 (Trading Economics).

Foreign travel to Cuba inspired a growing cohort of Cuban entrepreneurs offering transport and housing. In cities like Havana and Trinidad, Cuban citizens welcomed opportunities to earn more money above their abysmal state-controlled salaries. But the hope of new income was contrasted against heavy taxes by the government on all earnings leaving most Cubans still struggling …