I Actually Grew Tired
I actually grew tired after a mere five kilometres on foot. Everywhere it was wet and damp and there was no place to actually sit restfully for a break. When I reached McCaul Street, I saw the massive door to a church open and light poured out of it offering a welcome.
I climbed the stairs to the church, Saint Patrick’s by name, entered the foyer which revealed once again open doors, this time to the church hall itself. I helped myself to the back pew and chanted softly on my beads.
A parishioner, a woman, maybe 65 years of age, came to me with a curious stare and spoke.
“Are you Catholic? You’re Hindu aren’t you?”
My intense dyed robes must have drawn her attention. I said, “I’m a Hare Krishna, it’s related to Hindu.”
“But you’re not Catholic.”
“I was raised Catholic.”
“Why did you leave?”
“I didn’t, I just added on Krishna.” She went on in her subtle probing and with her stare of disbelief, so I continued, “You see, Krishna Consciousness taught me to be a vegetarian and I’ve enjoyed a deeper sense of philosophy.” She was holding her rosary all this time, so I showed her my japa beads. “I chant on these,” I said.
“What do you get out of it?” she pressed on quietly.
“A communication with the Lord.”
“What are you communicating?”
“I’m asking for every opportunity to serve Him.” And that was pretty much it. There was no introduction or farewell. She retreated toward the altar and walked there with a look of continual disbelief.
This young man who was kneeled at a pew nearby heard the entire hushed conversation. In a rather stoic way he looked at me and then finished the actual conversation quite spontaneously, even though he wasn’t a party to it, and said, “May the Lord be with you.”
“And with you too.”
My fatigue was over, I was enthused to continue the walk in the unusually moderate climate.
Om Tat Sat.