By the Pond
Moundsville, West Virginia
I had trekked around that peaceful pond at New Vrindavan and came to a patch of grass at the water’s edge. It wasn’t just the soft green that drew me but the sight of the sleeping swan that did. His agile neck was relaxed on his white downed body. He was resting for sure as I was chanting while gently rolling and fingering my japa beads. At one point the handsome guy lifted his head for reasons I’m not sure. Perhaps like one of us on a short nap we make a slight toss or turn. He spotted me but wasn’t phased by my presence. He remained relaxed.
I pondered on all the things I heard our guru (Srila Prabhupada) say about swans - swans versus crows; swans extracting cream out of milk; swans entangling necks in submerged vines. Then Vayu came (the wind). He imposed himself on me, or so I took it. He came forcefully while the swan took no offence to the gutsy gust. That sudden powerful wave of air picked up one small feather off the body of the bird and tossed it in the air. It whirled and whirled like a soul thrown by karma. After a lengthy and lofty journey the feather firstly made the smoothest wet landing on that most placid pond.
There was not even a splash but a mild touch of contact of the feather to the water was my queue to leave that grassy spot next to my snow white friend. It was time for more walking. I did move on to the peacock edge of the pond. Those flaunting boys were fawning their plumage with a pride that I cannot describe.
Many things happened on this special day, Mother’s Day, which began with one of my godsisters, Akuti, leading the morning chant. I had warm exchanges with many brothers and sisters this day. And our dear troupe performed well on the stage with an intense version of ‘Lonely People.’ But the one major warm spot lingered in my mind when I chanted beside my sleeping friend at the pond.