Entry 36 Time for change

Sometimes the feet need to move while the heart cannot. Today, as I sit at the desk and have the rare autumn sun on my back, I feel the need to move on. Start shedding some weight, start afresh. It takes courage. It takes resilience. Even in the face of obstacles, I feel the need to pray, a deep need to meditate. To go inward and feel what my inner being says.

Once that source is tapped, all answers become light and easy. The simplest way to get there is really by using the tools of yoga.

The times are challenging, worldwide and personally. We all face shifts, changes, some big some small.  We can see and feel the way our world as we knew it has changed. It is not surprising that more and more people feel disconnected, anxious, nervous, worried. The only way to move forward is through self-evaluation, self-evolution, self-work and self-love. As the world collapses into pieces around, we can hold on together by using our consciousness to rise and sing together. And already there is a perceptible shift in the rise of global consciousness.

Souls full of light and love shine every day, even in the brunt of all adversities. These are trying times, yes, but these are also times of great awakenings. So many of us contribute, help, donate, lend support to each other. The less a person has the more the person gives. It is a phenomenal change in the way we as humans have begun to interact and rejoice with each other. Stories of immense courage and love and support pour in from all over the world as the news of the devastation, disease, immigration and environment spread.

As the outside world gets ready to welcome winter, and the colourful leaves fall in the autumn wind covering the paths in golden light, so do we get ready for change. A change that promises to make the world a better place. A change that asks us to take stock every night and ask ourselves, what did I do today to make someone smile or to make someone feel good. A change that demands us to look within and discover the true spirits that we really are. A change that wants us to see the light we carry within. There is enough for all, enough love and light to go around. This is the time to share that inner light. This is the time to welcome that warmth in our hearts so we can give to others. This is the time to hold ourselves in the biggest embrace and let our feet take us where we need to go.

Entry 35 Walk on

The earth turns and leaves fall.

A divine place to begin a new journey,

to leave a part of us behind.

As the snake sheds the skin,

and the trees shed their leaves.

The wild heart beats against the chest,

growing in sound, until it is impossible

to ignore any more.

The feet will tell when

the call comes

to end, leave and walk on.

Gathering bits and pieces as we go.

Of bones, mud, sticks, feathers.

For we are creatures of mother earth

and we walk bare feet.

The only way to walk, I think.

 

 

Entry 34 Rituals

October: Festive times ringing in in one part of the world that was and still is home to me. Remembering times of gathering with family and friends, street food that those days were simpler and so tasty, the strong scented garlands of white tuberose and rose petals that adorned all temples, heady incense perfume that rose from all corners to dissolve in the evening sky. While life here in Europe is welcoming autumn with the gorgeous colours and a whirlwind of falling leaves, at home the land is preparing to celebrate the divine feminine in all her glory. How all the more devastating that women are still subjugated and oppressed worldwide.

Memory serves in the most curious fashion. The sight of the tall trees with their bright orange leaves in the park opposite the flat here reminded me of the trees at the lake close to our flat in Kolkata. The leaves did not turn any colour; most remained green and some shed in a fury at the beginning of the mild winter only to have tiny bright green glossy leaves appear when the scented bakul flowers scattered like light white snow on the ground. Then during the puja celebrations in October, one would pass a house where behind the walled garden a branch or two of the heavily perfumed frangipani would gracefully drape over the wall to brush the shoulders. Then there were bushes of bold red hibiscus, also used intensively in temples. Markets would overflow with garlands of white tuberose, fragile red roses that lost their perfume in a day, and heaps of petals spread on banana leaves to be bought loose. Or the smaller garlands of jasmine that women braided in their hairs in the evenings. There were so many flowers, in the markets, at homes, behind walled gardens or peeping through the wrought-iron gates, in temples and sometimes growing through concrete slabs. They were simply there, to give joy and be a part of all celebrations, big or small. Today, in my garden in the colder climes of the north a different sea of flowers overflows the borders with abundance and grace. The colours are more marked and brighter. The orange tethonia is perhaps the boldest colour I have in the garden. Then there are softer hues of pinks and whites in the various varieties of cosmos. Little bright red cherry tomatoes hang from the vines and on the gravel path, while the olive tree branches are heavily laden with green and black olives.

In these uncertain days, I have read about restrictions during the celebrations at home. There is so much anxiety in the air, so much fear and doubt and yet every year, including this, we celebrate that what binds us through our rituals, our joys and lives. I find hope and solace in that. Knowing that even through difficulties, we are still connected. And what better way to celebrate it than through festivities that bind us not just to who we are but also to each other. While my children were growing, we had these small rituals too, like the inevitable bed-time story, the pre-Christmas cookie baking, the birthday balloons that were always tied to their chairs, the Saturday mornings lying and laughing in bed. So many small and big rituals that were established that created a bond, gave reassurance of belonging and felt warm. Many, or most of them no longer exist, now that they are grown, but there is comfort in knowing that while they were there, it was good. And maybe someday, they will pass them on to their children, or better still they will create their own little dances of warm embraces, just as we did.

May the flowers always bloom.

May our homes always be warm and welcoming.

May our families and friends always be a part of us.

May our festivals remain a celebration of life.

Entry 33 How to move forward

Tiredness flows down the limbs and joints,

draining and sucking

life’s vitality until raw bones emerge.

It is time to gather the bones

and read

the signs;

that can lead anywhere.

The journey has been long.

Now we must recognize,

and choose

our heart above everything.

That space

that I can truly call I.

Not the ego or the part that thinks it is me.

But that space, that emptiness

that says I.

How to move forward?

Listen.

When everything around crumbles,

what remains has always been there.

The source of creation

has always been beating away quietly

within our hearts.

Pause and listen to it sing.

 

Photo: Bristi Wystup, Bavaria, Germany

Entry 32 Empty the heart

Drops of rain fall from a grey sky,

caressing each leaf of the tree next door.

Like memories that tumble ever so gently,

from the crown of the tree

to the lowest branch, that hangs so close to the ground.

In the absence of attributes and judgements,

I merely watch

the drops that fall

and the ones that are suspended

mid-air, mid-sky, mid-breath.

Sometimes, silence soothes more

than words designed to fill spaces

that increase as time passes.

The heart fills with gratitude

for the drops of rain,

for the water that flows in my veins.

For the absence, for the darkness.

Sometimes, the heart needs to empty

in order to overflow with

all the love and light in the world.

Entry 31 Fragility

We break so easily,

like brittle autumn leaves

that crunch below the feet

in the deep woods.

As the trees turn from green

to red and yellow,

I crawl into the earth

to protect our hearts

from the storms raging outside.

Dust rises from the ground

as I fall to my knees,

holding the three precious hearts,

so full of light,

in my hands.

 

When night falls

and the moon rises in the eastern sky,

the dust motes shine like stars,

dancing, swirling, praying.

Dissolving as the sun rises later.

Bathing the hearts in golden light.

I will hold, I will protect

I will not let fall,

not let go.

For these beating hearts

Are all mine.

Fragile and precious.

Blessed to be surrounded

by so much love.

 

Entry 29 Paths

The path beckons to the distant horizon,

I put one foot in front of the other;

slow and deliberate, mindful and aware.

As if all journeys are pilgrimages.

To go to the next mountain,

or the next country.

Or to go within.

Alive in the knowledge

that each step

takes me further from the known

and into the unknown.

Leaving only traces of footprints behind

to be wiped off by wind and rain.

 

Photo by: wanderingambivert

Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve, South Africa

Entry 28 Waves

White stars rise and fall

in an instance,

as foamy pillowy waves

crash and recede.

I hear the beating of the ocean’s heart –

steady and constant,

loud and silent.

Each moment slides into the next,

pouring light and wonder

into my throbbing heart.

Like a lover’s kiss

that is slow and intense;

Moving, dancing, praying

through time

as if it were eternal.

And the waves continue playing,

and the heart continues beating.

 

Photo by wanderingambivert

Llandudno, Western Cape, South Africa

Entry 27 Observe

I lie in bed and watch the autumn sky brighten from the east in the early hours of the morning.

First a faint hint of orange, then a more steady brightness.

Very soon, the low clouds blush with pink at their tips before the light changes again.

The sky changes so swiftly, or perhaps, not so.

In my perception, as I lie and watch, time loses its essence.

And with the changing colours, light, the play of the darker western sky and the breaking of dawn in the east, the entire sky with the grey clouds becomes a performing stage.

And I observe.

 

We are natural thinkers, we are philosophers, we are people of the word.

But sometimes, especially when the spectacle of nature unfolds, and it does, every day in a million ways, it suffices to be present and observe.

 

In the garden when the first seedlings push their leaves through the soil, stoop down to touch the fine and tender green.

When the clouds move across the sky, look up to see the changing colours.

When the white-tipped butterfly flits between florets of verbena, watch the carefree dance.

And when the cold foams of the waves wash over the feet, feel the cool of the water soothe.

 

And be.

 

With the butterfly.

With the cloud.

With the seedling.

And with the sea.

 

Especially, with the sea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: