If I were to give my heart to a river,
This murmuring one would be the one…
For that matter, I had already given this one,
Many summers and memorable childhood days
This beautiful soul has been an occupant of my heart,
For days on end, without fail now
Every day, my wandering mind travels past
Vast water bodies to reach this little one
The one that follows the many bends in her path
With so much ease and élan
That she fills my heart with joy like none
For this one and I share a bond that goes back a long time,
A really long time…
I have moved on, so have others with whom she has a bond,
But each time, we think about her, we get the same old feeling
Of wanting to take us into her fold, into her flowing waters,
Into her vigorous tidal spirit,
Bathing us with her bubbly, effervescent self,
Effusing us with her deepest sense of joy,
And here, I am, looking at this picture,
Swathed in nostalgia, enwrapped in a longing
To go back in time, just once more…
From frosted windows, I sing a song,
An ode to the grass, to the flowers,
From ice-clad meadows, about life underneath,
From still branches, pretending to be numb,
About buds and birds that have long been gone,
From thick-exhaust spewing cars without which I can’t do
My daily errands, or even drop my kids to school
About carefree walks under warm sunshine,
About jumping high to catch a mulberry branch,
During my daily morning walks,
About nibbling at soft-overripe fruits
From branches that boast heavily of their labor,
From closed doors, from the warmth of my house,
About the plight of the homeless I wonder,
As they putter about in dark subway alleys,
My song turns thus into a prayer,
In thanksgiving for all the warmth that I am blessed with,
For the warmth of my family and friends,
For the warmth of walls, for a roof that I can call mine,
For all the memories of sunshine days, birds and flowers,
There is always something to go back to!
“Look at that big tree by the side of the road. See, it has no leaves, no flowers and no buds. But it has bird nests. It has two of them. Look closely; do you sense emptiness in and around the nests? The birds have flown away, and it must have been at least a few weeks, isn’t it? Look how windy it is today, but see, the tree holds dearly onto the nests, even when the wind pulls its brittle branches along. Am sure when it snows, with its thin, wiry branches, it’d try to cover the nests. But to shelter whom; does it even know? To shelter this painful vacuum? The only knowledge the tree has is that it gave the birds a home once upon a time, shielded it from rain and shine, even from the cold autumn winds…and that, today, the birds aren’t there, they have gone far…The tree pointlessly hopes one day, the bird may come back, with its proud flock flapping closely.”
“You talk only from the trees’ point of view? Don’t the birds have their story to tell as well?”
“Tell me, what is their story? Won’t you? Are you one of the birds yourself?”
Wow! Through my kitchen window, I see tiny birds on the lawn, in dozens , peck endlessly. In between, they hop, and take short flights- their shadows sharing their earnestness and energy.
Wow! A soft breeze blows; leaves move gently, just the tips of branches making graceful steps in mid-air. They move again, making me wonder if they are dancing. Next to this big tree, there is a Pine; sturdy and evergreen, ripe with the knowledge that fall is here and now, and then winter and that it must stay on.
Wow! Very next to the Pine is an Apple tree; its branches heavy with fruit. I can just about see a few branches; there are more apples; pink and yellow than leaves. Wow! One apple just fell.
Two women out on their morning walk, in sportswear, one tossing a bottle of water even as they talk non-stop. Enjoying companionship. Enjoying beauty. Wow! They look happy, healthy and content.
The little birds? The ones that were peacefully pecking just a while ago? Hyper on food, they are launching themselves from the roof top, beak-diving into the bushes. They are like naughty children. Wow! This is quite something. And now, what? A couple of them are conferencing on a dish antenna; perched on its rim, oh, but that was just for a split second or so.
Wow! A flock of geese, energy-conservationists, heading south in a perfect V formation, making the most of a sunny day. Miles to cover before they rest. It’s a spectacle.
Wow! Life is beautiful.
It’s drizzling here in Edison. Water droplets whispering soft. Touching the leaves, but not staying there as yet. They dribble down, the small channels, following the path shown by the drooping leaves. The leaves bathe in green. The most beautiful, the most soothing green. Afar, through the half-opened blinds of my neighbor’s, dim light flows tenderly, warm streaks that smile, cheer, and illuminate. The sky has pulled its white blanket on. The sun is under, sleeping in bliss. The lonely potted green cabbage in my piazza is overjoyed, its leaves refusing to let go the many drops of water that came visiting. Stay, please, don’t just go away.
Brevity of seasons, of life
Whenever I step out for a walk, I am claimed by someone else. With each and every new walk that I take, this feeling only gets deeper. Like how last evening, I was possessed by the brevity of seasons. By the brevity of beauty in one form, but which nevertheless gets transformed in no time. Look at the trees outside. They are in an ambitious burst of green. They celebrate green like there are no tomorrows. The trees; at least the ones unaffected by strong winds and erosion make it a point to stand upright and salute the sun, everyday, irrespective of the measurable impact of sunshine, whether the rising sun tinges the sky crimson or not, or it leaves the crestfallen sky in bleeding hues as it bids farewell for the day. They don’t fret over the ever changing expressions of the sun or sky. Like, I wonder why yesterday the horizon looked very different from today, when the sun decided to come up the horizon. But, the trees don’t bother.
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