Six Plus Six
The morning was overcast. Monday morning. “Aggh,” many will say.
I was dashing to the passport office for the renewal of this handy document. It brought me into the corporate sector of the city, or at least to the edge of it on Victoria Street. All seems robotic, all seems straight and square, and there’s the gloomy looking faces, my God.
Anyways, business got done. I’ll pick up a ten year valid passport on Thursday morning. I trekked back home by way of Church Street through the gay community for a change, and before that through Ryerson Campus where students are abuzz. Then I ventured through the platinum strip of Bloor and Bay in Yorkville. Places that are all dolled up for Christmas. I also passed through the Eaton Centre, the giant mall, where there are massive lit up reindeer. Over the speakers you could hear, “Oh Holy Night,” that classic. When the lyrics came out, “Oh night divine… When Christ was born…” my objectionable mind questioned, “Yeah, but Christ wasn’t born on December 25th. Christmas was slapped on to the pagan holiday at Winter Solstice, a clever and imposing move to save souls.
I left the mall and made the journey back to the ashram to make a total of six kilometres. A golden opportunity arose for one more trek in the evening to give us another six kilometres.
Ken, a friend from Australia (we say ‘Oz’) wanted a quiet Monday evening experience on foot. Ken, who works for the Red Cross worldwide and drops in occasionally, does all kinds of charity work and also finds himself tending to cows in India’s goshala (cow shelters) and helps the expanding school in Vrindavan. While trekking, he asked a question after admitting he enjoys being single and is also not necessarily interested in being in a stationary place as in living as a monk in a monastery. He sometimes feels the pressure though, “They joke, ‘why don’t you settle down and get married?’ While others say, ‘be a brahmachari’.” He asks further, “Is it wrong to work and carry on?” Here was a sincere soul asking a sincere question.
“Not at all,” I counselled, “you’re a natural nomad, keep your hair and keep Krishna. Monastic life isn’t for everyone. You’re doing good.” Anyways, Monday night seemed less gloomy.
May the Great Source be with you!