Rolling Down Yonge
North York, Ontario
After a pleasant get-together with three of my siblings (sisters) and their kids – well, not kids anymore – I took to the trek back to homebase. The route was Yonge St, a long road that subtly caterpillars up and down until it junctures at Queen’s Quay.
As I ambled along I pondered the progression of the aging process among family members. The gathering was actually a mini-birthday party for the coming 60 years on this planet. I’m the oldest but all other siblings, six in all, are right behind me by one or one and a half years of separation. There’s a clear manifestation of a slow slag of skin and fine crow’s feet about the eyes. Salt and pepper hair is concealed by brunette dye except for me. I shave it all off. Everyone’s still smiling though. Perhaps a glimpse in the mirror, which reveals a natural changing body exhibit, strikes that smile. No need to lament. We are not these bodies after all. We are spirits.
My almost 2 hours walk also became a reality check on this changing concept. Viewing colours is a clear mark for change. Isn’t it interesting that our hair doesn’t turn red, yellow or orange at the autumn of our life?
When I reached the temple – also my quarters – I took the liberty to introduce to our crowd three of our visiting brahmacharis (monks) from Nova Scotia. I mentioned that two are not here because they recently got married. And so the world of change persists. One day you’re a celibate monk; the next day you’re a married man and then on – to produce, while youth slips away.
Here’s a verse from the Gita, 2.14:
“As the embodied soul continually passes in this life from childhood, to youth, to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at the time of death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.”