Invasion of the Mat Keepers

Legions of Mat Keepers
Legions of Mat Keepers

The Bos Lady and I went to Parliament Hill today. We may never be the same.

Having done some online research, we planned to visit Parliament Hill shortly before noon to hear the 15-minute Peace Tower carillon bells concert. So we arrived in time with about ten minutes to spare to find a nice spot on the wide expanse of lawn. Quite a few people were there already, claiming their own piece of greenery. We meandered through the groups and couples and singles, looking for a good location. Interesting, I thought, everyone seems to have brought her or his own mat. Must be the thing to do in Ottawa: enjoy the carillon concert during the work day lunch break, bringing one’s own mat for comfort.

The Bos Lady was thinking otherwise: I wonder why everyone’s brought a yoga mat?

We found the spot we liked and sat down, yoga-style — innocently enough. We gazed around, wondering about this eccentric gathering that seemed so…seemed so eastern-Canada-like, so Ottawan-ish, so Zen-like. And during those few moments of wonderment, they came. A mass influx, a plague, an INVASION of, of, of — MAT KEEPERS!!

Hundreds swarmed in, thousands! All of them with rolled up yoga mats under their arms, yoga pants on their legs and bums. Oh the humanity! Suddenly the Bos Lady realized what horror was upon us. In just a breath (perhaps two) we panicked, seeking escape from this mad, moving milieu of spandex. A way out! A way to sanity and liberty and normaility!

With arms flailing and steps stuttering, we pinballed our way through the Yoga People and out toward the safety of the outer asphalt walk of the Parliament lawn. We had just a second to catch our breath and count our blessings. We hugged like we have never hugged before, eyes wide with fear and trembling, grasping each other in a sharing of inner strength with the telepathic thought: we may never be the same!

And then, in slow motion our heads turned to the front of the massed mob, a hundred yards from us, to hear the Leader of the Invasion of the Mat Keepers:

“Hello! Welcome to the 2nd Annual Yoga Fest at Parliament Hills!”

We ran. We ran without looking back, never once daring to look back only to turn into a pillar of Pilates. We ran until our lungs screamed in protest and our legs trembled in surrender. And then we crawled, crawled away from the invasion — the asylum — on Parliament Hill.,

But the dreams will come, we know. Oh, this we know. The dreams will never let us forget the invasion that almost swallowed us whole. Dreams that blur the line between Zen and now.

We will never be the same.

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