I recently went to see my mom in North Carolina. She lives with her girlfriend in a wonderful B&B just south of Asheville in the mountains (literally IN the mountains). She lives so deep in the woods that the sun has a hard time finding her. The road winds and winds passed pastures dotted with beef, goats and beasts of burden, however for the most part it hides in the trees until reaching the house at the top of a mountain where the world opens up before them. And wow what a view!
On this trip we got to talking about my life from an early age. I like it when she fills in the gaps. Seems there was a lot going on in the early 70's that I was only semi privy to. On this particular morning, sitting drinking coffee on the deck, we got to talking about my love for chocolates and Indian culture (Hindu). Then mom brings up a story that I had only briefly heard about but was missing the details. It involved us meeting a guru and something or other about Hershey Kisses. So, I had her write them down for me. It goes something like this:
It was the mid 70's and my friend Calli was a devotee of Baba Muktananda. She had lived in his ashram in India and was extremely exited about his visit to the city of Gainesville (Florida).
She wanted me to meet him so badly but I didn't think I could go on the night he was to speak. Your father was away and I didn't have a babysitter, you were two or three. Calli insisted that I bring you so off we went.
The room was beautifully decorated with aromatic flowers but was void of furniture except for a platform. Spying a recognizable face, my boss at the time, we went to sit on the floor beside him (Calli was busy behind the scenes). James was always a shallow man the epitome of the saying "In a sea of like souls one would barely get their feet wet."
With his hands in a religious pose he told me in a condescending manner, in a fake Indian accent, that women and men do not mix. I was sitting on the wrong side of the room
We moved to the woman's side just in time for the musicians to start drumming. They were awesome and drummed into a frenzy. In the height of it all you fell asleep! I was amazed at your timing.
When Muktananda entered the room I felt that he wouldn't have cared which side of the room I sat on or if I had a child with me or how I was dressed. His entire being smiled.
He gave a wonderful talk and told stories. I'll never forget. He was inspiring and funny and truly spiritual. In the end the crowd was allowed to approach in 2's on their knees to receive a blessing. Calli scooped you up under my protest and said that we had to meet him. We inched our way to the front where he beamed with recognition of a long time devotee and child she was holding. He was especially excited about you and asked a lot of questions and talked to Calli as an old friend.
When he blessed people he did so with a silver handled collection of peacock feathers sprinkled with powdered incense. He tapped Calli on the head with it and while he was engaged in conversation about who you were and talking to you to make you smile, he pummeled me with the feathers on my head, in my face, on my shoulders...
Finally he asked if he could give you a "sweet". I never saw where they came from but he managed to produce a small handful of Hershey Kisses. I remember you smiling. You ate one right then and where given one to take with you. You had been blessed by Muktananda and Hershey Kisses.