I disembarked the VIA Rail train from Ottawa at Union Station (I don’t mind the iron horse). From there I rolled my travel light luggage north on Yonge taking advantage of this time to walk before a rain shower was to come. Clouds were warning.
You first feel the stiff corporate buzz with men and women going here and there to fit in a box. At Dundas and Yonge there was a fellow on a loud speaker pushing the Jesus talk and as I passed by I was announced as a condemned follower of a false god. As I moved on with less intensity of people the mood was sweeter. It’s remarkable to get even a nod on Monday morning but it came. Six kilometres later and I climbed up the stairs to my home, the ashram to be greeted by another letter from a student. This I want to share. It is heart warming.
“My name is Cedric from Judy Vella’s class. I was the one that was ungracefully sprawled out and that asked about your shoes. I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t know what to expect from you when I heard you were visiting our school. Obviously I was surprised you were white, however, I assume you get that a lot. Also, you had quite a tropical tan, but that is irrelevant. I was nervous to meet you because I was convinced that you would be some stoic, silent figure. I didn’t want to do anything wrong and embarrass Ms. Vella. Also, that would have been relatively boring. However, that was not the case. I don’t know if it was the fact you were Canadian, but you turned out to be a pretty normal guy. Or at least my definition of normal. Bhaktimarga Swami, you were a hilarious guy. I bid you good luck with the rest of your life and hope that you will return to Notre Dame to entertain a new generation of students and share the gift you shared with us.”
My remark here is, “Thanks, Cedric, but I can’t take much credit. I chanced to meet some monks years ago. They changed my life and introduced me to a very special person, my guru, Srila Prabhupada. He’s the reason I am able to do something.”