Across From Baskin by Bhaktimarga Swami

I was inspired to walk upon the sun’s movement in the western sky.  I couldn’t see the glowing disc itself for the trees, the buildings and the time but I could perceive it through the colours it left.  It was a mix of warm colours, from reds, to pinks to an almost purple.  I wanted to gaze at it for some time but my measly mission was to walk.  And for that I must watch the sidewalk, the curbs, the traffic and the pedestrians.
Oh yes, you really have to be cautious about pedestrians.  And as they are watching your directions you must see where they angle.  It’s called social distancing.
At the furthest point of my evening trek, the intersection of Christie and Bloor, across from Baskin Robbins ice cream, I sat on a curved concrete ledge for a break.  A curious kind, a young man, sat next to me.  I slid over honouring the distance required and smiled.
“Oh don’t worry.  I’m immune!” he said.
“But I may not be!” I said in defense.
“What are you doing?”
“Relaxing.  I just finished chanting a mantra called gayatri.”
“Teach me,” he mildly asked.
“Here’s a card and on it is a mantra for peace.”
He tried.  “Hare Krishna!”
“Can you teach me another?”
“Try this one, ‘Govindam adi purusham...’ I’ll give you something more simple.  Om!”  He did well with that.  He was colourful like the sky I saw earlier.  He pulled out a can of Budweiser beer, then a cigarette and lit it.
“You’re not going to stay immune for too long when you do those things,” I advised.  He shrugged his shoulders.  I let him know I have to return to where I came from.

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