Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Perfect day...

...was today. It was just so completely beautiful outside. 21 degrees celsius. Sunshine. Clear blue sky. Just that little breeze.

It would be a shame to sit at home on a day like this. Yes, a lot of work pending but i couldn't care. i just had to experience this day fully. I wouldn't mind not sleeping for the next two days just to be outside with nature today.

Luckily my pal, Sharath, was a willing accomplice in the ditch-work-and-go-out plan. And canoeing we did. Actually kayaking - picked up a double kayak this time.

Did a two hour trip downstream River Huron (a great river - more about it sometime in the future). Luckily the Argo Livery where we commence is just about a 5 minute drive from our place. Sharath finished his meeting early and we just sped there.

...and Boy, was it gorgeous! Just absorb the fall colours.
What do you say? Brilliant, isn't it? I was just spellbound. And nature conspires to make things easy for you. Just when you feel the sun is beating harshly and you wish there was a little shade, there it comes:

...and just when you feel so pure with nature, every now and then there's a house that springs up along the river like this:

...that arouses a wave of jealousy: "Damn! I wish i had a house like that on the river". You then quickly recover and remind yourself that happiness is not about possessing things. The enlightened ones throughout the ages have told us that the sure path to misery is to expect, to want, to desire, to covet. Why can't i just be happy with what i have? Truly, if i was happy always with whatever i had, that would be TRUE happiness - happiness that is unconditional upon external factors. Mental note as i go along the river: Practice vairagya (non-attachment), non-covetousness.

Slowly, we're now almost completely absorbed into nature. Time to stop rowing. Just let the river carry you. Paddle only just a little so you're on course. Put your feet up. Relax. Inhale deeply.Let the fresh air energize you. Immerse yourself in the surroundings (do i sound like one of those yoga guys on TV?)
No noise. No people yaking away loudly. No blaring film music. No people spitting or puking into the river.

And then, all of a sudden the river opens up to magnificent blueness with just a little green to give it that balance.
Who planned all this? Was this day destined to be so beautiful?

Anyway, this stretch also tells us that we are close to Gallup Park - our destination. A sinking feeling. God, will you please give me another chance sometime in life to experience this kind of a day. When i do not have to be excited/worried about the future, neither relive/regret the past. Just be so completely absorbed in the present that it is eternity.

Sharath and I return the kayak, sip some coffee and spend about 20 minutes just staring ahead of us.One last look at the warm green grass and the river as we head back to our homes.

The exchange of words Sharath and i had, i think summed it all up.

Me : I think this was a day to die for.
Sharath : What are you talking about!? This was a day to totally live for
(er...so, do you think we qualify as Zen monks now?)

Update:
A fitting end to a beautiful day - a magnificent sunset. I send a 'Thank you' to the One for the opportunity to experience this day.

8 comments:

sandeep said...

Before you say, "not again?!!", you would find it difficult to get adjusted to the madness of India

:-)

Amazing images and beautiful narration.

Sharan Sharma said...

Thanks Sandeep.

Yes, i think will find it difficult, but i guess what this is teaching me is to live in the present moment. i am thankful that i got a chance to see a day like this. That's enough. or at least i have to remind myeslf that that's enough :)

sattvicwarrior said...

nice pics

shubha said...

Hey sharan,
That was beautifully written, very touching...
Nature just has this immense power to humble you, and stir up intense felings, often taking you to greater spiritual quests.... William Wordsworth, Mian Tansen, some of the great traditions like Kathak -- all inspired by the sounds and stirrings of nature... No surprises here, i guess...

Suspect said...

These pics make me fee like flying off to some place -- like Michigan maybe? Somehow, I never thought of the USA as a natural-beauty sort of place. You've corrected me. Thanks.

Sharan Sharma said...

Hi SW,
Thanks!

Hi Shubha,
Is that the reason we had more (great) poetry back then? :)

Hi Kshitij,
Yes, when you say 'US' the image of urban chaos comes to mind most often. But this country has a lot of open space (obviously - density being a LOT lesser) and a lot of that open space is beautiful - parks, reserves etc.

Ajith said...

I love the way you have captured the whole continuum...would form a great sequence!

Sharan Sharma said...

Thanks Ajith!