A Circle of Drums

Yesterday was sunny and warm in London … such a blessing.  I strolled into Victoria Park – ten acres of green grass and mature trees – and sat on a bench.  Just me and the birds, except for that group of people over there.  Actually a circle of folks sitting on the grass, most of them with a drum on their lap.  Even from a hundred yards away, the sound was hypnotic.  The rhythms moved deep within me.  I closed my eyes and opened my heart.

Then I looked more carefully at these people, about twenty of them, mostly young adults with a few kids sprinkled in.  Two of the women who weren’t drumming stood and danced in their long patterned skirts.  One of them picked up a hula hoop and whirled it around.

I was transported back to the 1970’s, to the Mariposa Folk Festival on Toronto Island.  Lots of gentle movement there too.  Friendly faces.  Big smiles.  No problem, man.  In Victoria Park, the sun was falling between the trees, illuminating those flowing skirts and drumming hands.  I smiled.  How about if the whole world has a go with a drum on its lap?  We’d let the being emerge and the doing fade into the distance.

I closed my eyes again and began meditating.  The beat was strong, but over the minutes it lessened … and eventually stopped.  Excited voices for a bit.  And finally silence except for the breeze and the birdies.  Then I opened my eyes.  My friends were gone.  There was sadness in me.  May the good times never end.  But they do, of course, and that’s just the way life is.  Still, the beat goes on in the space where it had been.  The circle in the grass a hundred yards away still holds the joy of an hour before.  May I sense similar reminders of past glories as I walk through the day.

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