A Mental Award
Every day of my life I like to pick out a personal ‘hero for a day’.
My criterion is that the candidate must be do something inspiriting, something to reflect the qualities of a saint. This can apply to anyone, in or outside the jurisdiction of the ashram that I live in. I do not consciously look for the individual that demonstrates traits of humility, tolerance, patience, hard work, or resilience in the form of being encouraging, maybe even smiling a lot. These people just show up, perhaps they are sent to me to give me a lesson.
I sometimes catch a glimpse on the street of a less fortunate soul who can emulate a quality of strength through transcending the cold or the lack of attention given by the public. To get to my ‘hero for a day’ for this last day of the year I internally honour the visitor to our ashram from Vancouver. His name is Patrick. His origin, I’m not sure – African decent to be certain. Having volunteered to hold the massive speaker on his shoulder in order to amplify our kirtan chanting, Patrick became that hero in my book. After some time he shifted the weighty object from shoulder to the top of his head, obviously a smart move. During the countdown to mark the end of an interesting year, Patrick held it there, it seemed like forever. Our kirtan was not held in an indoor venue, but our usual spot, in front of the prestigious Old City Hall. The temperature was below zero. Snowflakes of the crystal kind slowly descended from above. There were not many, but they were queued at the height or climax of the kirtan. And then, after the fluffy flakes landed (flower petals from the gods) hefty snowballs shot in the air. There was no malicious intent. People were in a good spirit (on spirits).
One of those great white balls of glory hit Patrick, smack in his beautiful black face and beard, while his full dreadlocks were liberated from the onslaught. I peered over at him having viewed one of those flying objects that smacked his face. I was curious as to his reaction. All I can say is that he took it so well. He broke into a contagious smile. It was all just part of the celebration. I would say that this was my last most impressive image for 2012. My mental award goes to Patrick. Thank you, Patrick, for being such a good sport and reflecting the glow of the soul.