More at the Bench by Bhaktimarga Swami


When you frequent a place, people of that area get to know you. This is the case for me, at the park, as well as David, who resides with us. He spends more time than me, enough to see the things I miss. He spotted a fox, rare to see during the day. And he always comes back after his walk to say whom he met and just what’s going on. He’s making nice friends.

Now I use this green space to rehab or recoup my worn-out legs. So, I’m getting to be more present. It was two hours that I sat on a bench upon a mound with blue spruces nearby. I could swear that from the moment I parked on the bench to my leaving, more green had come through on the grass; the chlorophyll was activating before my very eyes. It was stunning. It was more amazing than seeing that falcon in-flight as I entered the space.

What about people? Well, two elderly women made the gradual climb up the mound to what I thought was a deliberate move to connect with me somehow. I was on the phone which sat next to my lap talking to another part of Canada about Vyasa puja, an annual publication which expresses gratitude to the guru (Prabhupada) when suddenly these two women said something I couldn’t decipher, but it was intended as polite.

It was time for me to get up and move around. A gentleman, also elderly, was trying to say something kind. He had a device attached to his throat. Impaired speaking. He was commenting with a smile and that’s all that mattered. I was walking by the tennis court and a middle-aged couple stopped their game for a minute to ask, “Is your restaurant open again (because of Covid)?”

“Yes! For takeout! Please come!”


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