Thursday afternoon. It's sunny. People are out. It's winter-coat weather, but not for me. I feel lucky, rather free. Here on Bloor Street, at a time when the westerly sun streaks through, all appears so perfect. People are out and about.
Not all carry happiness with them, though. Some look glum. An elderly woman struggles with every step, with stick in one hand and hope in the other. Some are aware of their surroundings. Others are in a chat with someone elsewhere, with wires protruding from their ears. They are in another zone.
There are hipsters. There are the ordinaries. Some carry bags of groceries and bags of commodities of anything under the sun. Some bring along pet dogs, or perhaps it's the reverse. The odd pigeon lands, gyrates, poops, then takes off.
One man recognizes us, perhaps others too. It was obvious from him. He said, "Hare Krishna," with the biggest grin—and nod.
A beggar woman expressed a desperate look all over her face. A beggar man expects compassion from us—from Connor and I. Well, we were dressed as if we were givers, with devotional stuff on, beads, and me with robes, dhotiand kurta. I take my japabeads and hold them in the air as if to say, "This is all we've got. Depend on the spirit."
I don't know about Connor, my walking partner, but I feel like I'm with all the Bloor Street people, and yet aloof at the same time. A sudden burst of joy overcomes me. I think of guru, Prabhupada, and I feel so fortunate to be doing what I am doing—being a Vaishnava, walking in freedom. I turn a corner at Avenue Road. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv4-vRTAmbg/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=1sxlw8gfuy849
May the Source be with you!