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Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Book Launch of Echoes of Earth by L. Sue Baugh

When my niece suggested that we go for a book launch of ‘Echoes of Earth’ by L.Sue.Baugh to her local library at Evanston, Illinois, I was expecting a panel discussion with the author followed by book signing at the end of the session.

But when we arrived at the library, we were ushered to a small-enclosed room and the author was in discussion of her book through slide show. Her book documents some of the oldest rock and mineral sites in Western Australia, Greenland, NW Canada and the United States.

I sat there enamored by her pictures as I travelled with her virtually through vast isolated landscape, through huge rocks and isolated islands.  I have never before looked so closely at the rocks, but the red rocks of Mt Narryer, huge rocks at Grand Canyon, intricate designs of Blacktail Canyon were mesmerizing. The author tried to explain through her stunning photographs how the nature had moved her, and the personal connection between Earth’s long history and our human bodies. She stressed on the fact that minerals that lie within rocks also lie deep in our bones and ancient life is within our cells.

There was no book signing session because there were just few copies of her book and they got picked up in a minute, but author was confident that she had aroused enough interest in the audience to order her book online.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Visit to Baha’i Temple at Illinois Was a Pleasant Experience

Baha’i temple was mentioned at home several times since I had touched the city of Illinois. Back home I have visited a lotus shaped Baha’i temple in Delhi, but still, I was curious to see this one mainly for its architecture.

We drove on a clear day to Linden Ave, Wilmette, to see the famous Baha’i temple.

It’s a beautiful structure in white with artistic carvings on the walls and on pillars, surrounded on all side by landscape and water fountains, it overlooks the lake. Completed in 1953 and designed by French Canadian architect Louis Bourgeois, it is one of the seven Baha’i temples in the world. The Baha’i place of worship is the cross between a mosque and the temple.

Baha’is believe nine, the last number in decimal system, symbolizes perfection and completions, hence many elements of the building occur in groups of nine. There are nine entrances to the auditorium, nine interior alcoves; nine dome sections to the auditorium, nine fountains in the garden area. Bahia followers believe that God revealed himself through Messengers (Christ, Krishna, Buddha, Muhammad and other Gods)

On closer inspection of the pillar, one could see symbols of many religions like cross (of Christians), Star of David, symbols used by Hindus and Buddhists in the form of swastika. On the top of the pillar is a nine-pointed star, symbolizing the Baha’i. Various writings of Bahaullah, the founder of the religion, are inscribed above the building entrances.

Since I did not want to climb the step to go up, I took the back entrance and went up inside the building by lift. People meditated in silence in the large dome shaped hall, all engrossed in their own faith.

Inside the building there were artwork and large wall hangings of religious inscriptions. A plaster model of Baha’is temple designed by Bourgeois occupied one segment of the corridor.  

In the dark corner was the Cornerstone, that Abdu’i-Baha had dedicated to the Baha’I temple.

It was a beautiful experience walking around this temple. I went back again after sunset, the building glowed at night against the dark skies.

Since i used the back entrance and taken the lift to go upstairs, I had not seen the gardens and fountains that looked so beautiful during my last visit. I went there back again to climb the stairs and have a closer look from below the stairs.This time I clicked more pictures from different angles, the front view, the gardens and the waterfall. It was beautiful..

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Ethnic Fair at Lake Michigan

Going to an ethnic fair by the lakeside seemed like a good idea. After lunch of hamburgers at Edzo’s we headed towards the Michigan lake.

It made a pretty scene, people with picnic basket spread on the grass, children cycling through concrete path, rows of white tents exhibiting different things like art, food, culture and fashion garments.

The park buzzed with lots of art activity at every stall, with children picking up rags and weaving into a beautiful rug, some art class on making beaded jewelry,

We wished we had come here earlier and had lunch at the food stall here. The food looked so delicious, and the air was filled with fragrance of roasted meat. 

We were able to nibble on roasted corn coated with mustard sauce, melted cheese and red chilies
and fresh spicy mango.

The evening looked promising, but suddenly clouds got darker, blocking the sun, and then there was thunder followed by heavy rain.

While I sat under shed, waiting for rain to stop, the weather grew fierce, dragging the objects hither and thither, some of the tents toppled, nobody was prepared for this storm, people who could not wait, walked at faster pace, drenched from head to toe.

We had to cut short our evening at the lake and rush back home.

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