Castle and Apples
I took 5 people with me today to show them a trail unknown to them. It was a brief trek to Casa Loma.
Our ashram where I live is in a unique location. It’s one kilometre from Queens Park, half a kilometre from Yonge Street, parks are all around. The museum, a world class, is also just one kilometre away. Ravines are within a two kilometre distance. The country’s largest university’s limits are within a short walk. And then there’s Sir Henry Pellat’s home, Casa Loma, which means in Spanish, Hill House. It has 98 rooms and over 30 toilets. There’s an oven large enough to cook an ox, they say. The house was built for his wife, Lady Mary Pellat.
Sir Henry Pellat was not noted for his walking, but his running. In 1879 he won the men’s 1500 metre or mile run at the US national championship.
In any event, there was Casa Loma. Our walking/chanting group took a moment to look at this masterpiece of a castle as we dreamt away. “What a gorgeous Vedic temple this would make,” as we gawked at the largest private residence in the country.
Onward we went to new streets of charm where you find those old red brick 19th century homes. As we walked past the York tennis court, the edge of the property bore a golden delicious apple tree. I shook a branch, the apples fell, we picked. As a routine I chant a quick mantra as a way to offer such organic fruit to Krishna. We ate with relish.
A security man from inside the building caught us on screen. It was still early and dark. He saw us, some in robes, he rushed out to the scene. Suddenly, he halted and said, “Oh, it’s you, yeah go ahead, take them all,” he said in the tone of absolute kindness. Relieved he was that we were neither pranksters nor thieves, and rewarded we were having a real gift of sweet fleshiness in our palms and then our mouths. Thievery is not our game, but I’ll admit that we are greedy to hone in on all the treasures of the morning, the greatest of them all being the chanting on our lips and the company of bhakti yogis.