Grim looks turned into smiles. A homeless, bench-lying fellow’s eyebrows danced to the beat. Then grass-lying sun-loving youths turned their bodies over and goose-necked in our direction followed by hand waves. Oh, and admirers outstretched their hands for an old fashioned hand shake as we passed by on the street. I gestured to one dude to pull off his iPod earplugs and pointed to the drum and accordion’s sweet sound. He did and he indicated that he liked it.
On Rideau St. our chanting party did go – and Sussex Drive, in front of the nation’s Parliament Buildings. We looped around in procession style to the posh Chateau Laurier, one hundred years old this year. A century passed. Imagine, you could get a room for $2 a night in 1912. We passed by a banner which read War of 1812 with a superimposed image of Laura Secord whose famous line “The Americans Are Coming!” alerted the British. Her eyes appeared to follow us.
We harmonized our kirtan along the Rideau Canal. The sun shone, so did the mantra, so did we (the chanters), so did they – the tourists and locals. The spirit and response from all who stumbled upon us was, “Well done, well done!”
Although hearts were charmed and the sound was sweet, I can say that the sound was not as perfect as the chorus of coyotes I chanced to hear on the early rising trail near Russell at 6 AM. Those guys had their howls down perfect. It was in salutation to the sun and the uniform quality was impeccable – four or five of them together I’d say. They were worshipping as we were. Call the sun an aspect of God if you will, they were reverential and giving glory. Just that the genre was different.