The majestic copper pod tree, with its golden yellow and amber tinted flowers, framed by the windows, formed a living tapestry on my bedroom wall. The ground around the tree would almost always be carpeted with fallen yellow flowers; like a pool of liquid sunshine.
At times, as I go about my day, putting away freshly laundered clothes, burying my face in it for a moment and taking in the scent of old sunshine and starch, I catch a glimpse of the tree, now shorn of all its adornment, gently reminding me that winter is on its way. At other times as I steal some moments, to tryst with my thoughts, curled up on the couch next to the window, the tree quivers in a gentle breeze and I see tiny buds sprouting up in preparation for spring. To me, the tree is a silent reminder of the seasons slipping off like pearls, from the thread of time.
So it seems to me a cruel twist of irony, that this tree with the brilliant yellow flowers which had so firmly planted itself as part of my daily life, should meet its end at the hands of another flower.
‘Vardah*‘ or the red rose, that wrecked havoc over Tamilnadu and gave us a whiff of what terror feels like, plucked off my copper pod tree like a jasmine bud from a bower. My eyes still keep returning to that spot where the tree stood, muddled for a moment to see the vacant space, before the painful prick of reality sinks in, much like a person who has shaved her long locks off keeps reaching for the hairbrush, to brush the nonexistent locks. Impermanence seems to me, a grey hooded sorcerer, who can change the world as we know it, with a wave of his mystical wand.
I have often found that most of the unresolved questions in our lives, which often hover on self pity (why did this happen to me?) tend to be like, being spoken to in a foreign tongue. You can only respond after you have mastered /translated the language; the same way the answers will appear before you, when you are ready to see them in the light of your age earned wisdom.
‘Wabi-sabi’,the beautiful Japanese concept of finding beauty in imperfection and accepting impermanence, seems to me deceptively simple yet extremely difficult to follow in our daily lives.
The act of being fully present in the moment and living it for what it is and not how we wish it would be, seems to me a lofty task. The opposite of inattention seems to be love, for I find that I can easily pay attention to something/ someone if love is involved. It does not require much effort from my part to be fully present, to be mindful.
So then, this is it. This moment is all that we have. Everything else, the flowers and trees, our feelings and priorities, our grudges and agonies, the look in our child’s eye, even life as we know it today, are temporary.
This new year, let us get lost in little moments of mindfulness, pay close attention to our loved ones and keep an open heart; who knows, we may even find ourselves and each other in the process.
Happy New Year!