“Do not say, ‘It is morning,’ and dismiss it with a name of yesterday…See it for the first time as a newborn child that has no name.”
Tagore is my favorite poet. I never get tired of reading his poems, his jottings. In his words, there is an infinite source of spiritual wisdom.
I had come across his above quote many years ago, probably in school. I had interpreted it with my own limited understanding at that point of time. Few years down the line, I believe, I grasped its meaning more.
But recently a morning came, when, I think… I lived it.
Perhaps that day, I understood that quote in its entirety.
That morning, was unlike any other in my life. I wake up in a little wood cabin. Behind it was a small farm and in front of it was a vast meadow, grassy slopes and beyond that, there were hills…no sign of crowded civilization, people or any noise, for miles together.
In this pristine wilderness, when I opened the front door and breathed the air of the early hours of that misty morning , the sky was looking more spacious than I had ever seen on any other morning.
Now, if you know me, it will not surprise you that I had chosen this secluded stay at this remote farm cabin somewhere in back-country Tennessee, for my birthday.
Whenever I have a choice, I choose nature over any other forms of leisure. And on most such occasions I justify views offered by nature with a pretty good amount of attention…
…or so I thought, until that day.
Always, I have been looking at and admiring nature like a painting. However, that morning I came to realize, that, every little or big view of the nature can be savored more like a page of a book rather than a painting, the whole, does not make sense until and unless you try and read every word of the page.
When taken in as undivided , the sights of the creation can please our eyes and heart, but when we attentively examine even the high level details within, we are able to connect with the source of creation with all our senses and can let it fill that elusive hollow inside us with good things like wonder, joy, awe, wisdom, life, and beyond…
That morning, as it happens with remote places, there were no signals in my cell phone. Now, I am not much of a “phone person”, but still, the way the absence of signals brought me to the here and now – surprised me in a big way. What a profound sense of awareness it brought. And ah, there I was. Just there.
And, so in the following couple of hours of almost perfect mindfulness, I experienced existence, with my all five senses !
The wholeness of some of those moments was so earnest, I brought them back with me as my souvenirs, to be kept inside my heart forever, for reminding myself of the sheer bliss of simply being aware… :)
Sight of the Hummingbirds…
The evening before, standing at the window, I had noticed this cute hummingbird nectar feeder hanging on the porch of my cabin. There was one hummingbird that came fluttering her wings, over and over again.
However, in the morning, when I sat there quietly, and consciously, just for few minutes, I noticed, that there was not one, actually I saw two of them, wait, there were actually three…
Their beaks were sooooo long and sharp…their tails formed such an elegant design when opened wide, and that red spot on their necks, did I ever notice it before? I don’t think so! Their wings never stopped fluttering, even for a second…and how naive and simple hearted these creatures are…they are lured by the smell of man-made nectar and sucking it from those artificial flower shapes!
Sights of a hill that disappeared & a rainbow that appeared, unexpectedly!
The evening before, I remembered looking at this tall hill behind all those trees in the distance, in front of my cabin.
The ever changing shadows of the slowly drifting clouds caressing those slopes was such an intriguing sight…
However, when I wake up in the morning, the hill was no longer there!!! I could only see the trees in the front!!! :)
I was sure I had seen the hill last evening…or was I mistaken? Where did the hill go?
Yes! The foggy clouds fooled me effortlessly! This magical disappearance of the hill must have lasted slightly more than a minute, and now as I think about it, I thank heavens that I looked in that direction, in that very moment!
Well, within around an hour, there was another “blink and you miss” drama in the sky and need I say that it was my best Rainbow sighting till date? :)
Touch of the wet soil…
So often we come across that pretty sight of dewdrops on grass in photographs, TV screens and movies…But how many times do we actually get a chance to run on it (bare-foot that is)?
When I got one, I did run on that wet grass for as far as I can. For the first time I came to know actually how intense the morning mist can be. The soil was so much drenched in morning dew, it felt as if it had rained!
I soaked my heart in this indulgence until the wet soil got between all my toes and my feet were totally covered with clay. My feet were ecstatic, but somehow I felt, that – that patch of the earth was giggling too… :)
Sounds of the Oak branches…
If you haven’t ever enjoyed a rustic country swing tied to a high tree branch, then you have not experienced true luxury yet.
I don’t leave any opportunity of swinging on such tree swings. However, this one became special. Because the silence in the meadow let me listen to the gentle swaying of the oak branches that moved with the swing.
That sound so uncannily resembled the sound of the ocean waves!
As I tried to swing as high as I could, I felt like I was in this tiny boat riding on those waves…riding on these high waves, I even got a glimpse of a beautiful prairie hidden by some tall trees in front of the Oak…
When you set out on sail, you do discover new lands…don’t you? :)
Taste of the fresh produce!
The aroma of vegetables plucked freshly from the farm is absolutely unforgettable, it awakens something deep and beautiful within you.
The joy and taste of simple cooking is multiplied a hundred times when you are fortunate enough to cut and saute these handpicked farm fresh vegetables in your humble pan… :)
Smell of the wildflowers…
I stood facing that tranquil hilly landscape.And I Sensed the touch of some tiny golden wildflowers near my feet.
When I looked at them, I felt that they were whispering something to me (well, they always do so to me… :P)
“Sit down, we have a much better perspective of the same view.” – They seemed to be reaching out to inform.
I sat with them, gazing at the dreamy view before us…
Whenever I spot wildflowers, my fascination with their beauty keeps me engrossed in photographing them , this time though, I gave up the camera and smelled the unique, delicate scent of these little beauties…
Hearts forming unusual bonds…
The curious bonding between sheep and shepherds is mentioned often in one my all time favorite books, “The Alchemist”. I got to witness this amazing understanding between a farm keeper and these unassuming animals when my host Debra – a dear friend, and the lovely lady who owns the farm, made this simple call – SHEEP, SHEEP!!! And at once, these cute sheep came rushing, and then stood like this, in anticipation of what must be she calling for… :)
The morning I have narrated here was filled with moments lived intensely, when you actually pause, observe, and see much more, in terms of both quantity and quality. During one of such instants I had observed these two beautiful horses hanging out with each other, keeping together with almost all the time.
Looking at this companionship was obviously heart-warming. However, witnessing them became a really precious experience when I came to know that they lived together once, before sixteen years, and after staying apart for those many years, they were back together since last some days! It left me awe-struck!
This little story told many tales unknown to me…
Each one of these souvenir moments were fairly brief and seemingly “simple”. It was so dangerously easy for these little things to remain unnoticed, for these moments to pass before my eyes, un-lived…
The wholesome experience they brought to my senses would not have been mine ever…
…IF I was not willing to surrender myself completely to the present, and pay attention to these subtle expressions of the existence….with a marvel almost of a new born child who is seeing the world for the very first time. :)
P.S: For the sack of brevity and to remain tightly within a certain context, I have not mentioned everything that I observed that morning, believe me. (Did I mention the zen like peace of a farm cow grazing constantly in the meadow? :P)
I want to share with you here, this beautiful, beautiful, beautiful song… an all time favorite of mine. That morning at the farm my heart had it playing, all along!
Indians would have no trouble recognizing and enjoying the song. But, if you don’t understand Hindi, here is the translation for the lyrics, do watch it, even for the exhilarating music and tasteful cinematography! :)
Photographs & Article ©2017 Gyaneshwari Dave