Noticing is different from seeing, just as listening is different from hearing, and asking is different from questioning and so on and so forth. The point I am trying to make is that the intensity of engagement with the same five senses, can yield a different experience. So how deeply we choose to engage with our senses can change the story you tell.
On days when I have chosen to work out of home, as I need to catch up with my studies (yes, I am a student too), I find myself `humanly’ alone for several hours, while my husband is at work. I say `humanly’ and that’s what I wish to elaborate on, and bring your attention to. The world around me is teeming with life, and not just teeming, but also if I do care to notice, willing to engage and entertain me and take my mind off studies/work for sometime. And all this, in the concrete jungle of Mumbai…
The birds that fly past my window – follow a beautiful rhythm from sunrise to sunset. They are up and early when it is low tide, but wait it out in the trees when it is high tide, eagerly, for the waters to recede. Every now and then a bunch of egrets will fly to check how low is low and come back to communicate to the rest.
One time a crow had one of its wings caught up in the fence right below my window, and out of nowhere flocked in about 80-90 crows surrounding the trapped crow to protect it from other predators, and at the same time their calls were so loud, almost like an army encouraging the fallen fellow mate to get up and move. And the crow did so. It freed itself from the fence and they all flew away together.
Another time there was this stupid crow that decided to attack a calm happy bunch of egrets flying around enjoying the breeze, and the very next moment the egrets got their game together and chased the crow away and away, till I could see them no more.
Then there was this day, when I was typing away on my computer…don’t know for how long. Finally I looked up and sitting on my windowpane was a beautiful big royal blue butterfly. As I walked up to it, and had a conversation, it seemed to hear me. Its beautiful fluttering wings totally relaxed me. Many minutes later, it flew away maybe to live a few days more, but within those few days it had chosen to visit me and left a memory in me, that will last beyond its life span.
Not to mention, my year round company – the beautiful spiders on my ceiling. I can look up and they are right there, looking over my shoulder, making sure that I am working or studying, and not surfing. ‘I get it Mr. Spider’ I tell him. I am allowed some distraction.
Then there are the loud parakeets – wanting every bit of my attention on them. Mornings belong to their acrobatics. As they swing upside down, hanging on to the wire with one finger, sometimes two, going around the wire in circles, I can’t help but blow them some kisses. After all it is a free show, and the least I can do is shower them with love.
Next to the parakeet-loving tree, is the frangipani tree full of honeybees, and they are buzzing from flower to flower, and the morning light on them is like the spotlight on a dancer. Wow. As they move from one flower to another, the light shimmers on their body, and it is nothing short of a performance.
Of course, when eyes decide not to travel that far, there are the flowers in the vase, that remind me of how colourful life is. One glance at them, and no matter the intensity of the work involved, it opens up a breath and a space within.
AND, all is not lost when you go into a room without a view. Pull out a book from the shelf and there are the beautiful bookworms, who look up stunned, as though their secret place was revealed and go scurrying to find the next page.
Last but not the least, mindlessly open a kitchen door to pick up something and a sweet tiny cockroach crawls out letting you know that nothing that I did to get rid of them has worked. They are here to stay, they have been around longer than me, they have withstood the Ice Age, and more…and I should not waste my energy. As they wriggle out, like they are really scared of me, the message I hear is, `naa nana naa na’. I have immense love and respect for them. What resilience. How can we humans learn to be just as resilient?
Occasionally when am bored of the teeming life I live with, I have special visitors. A lovely beetle visits me as am soaking up some sun, or an insect (that I don’t know the name of) hangs out with me for sometime, till I am ready to go back to my studies. I watch its beautiful scaled wings, its alert antennae, its tiny mouth, and for that moment when we look each other in the eye– that insect and I know we are connected. Very deeply.
You get it right? That I am never alone no matter where I am. And if I still do feel alone, it’s my state of mind and not the truth.
So I invite you all, as your Little Brown Job this week to pay attention to life around you. Notice, listen, feel and open up a small tiny place in your heart and see what engaged you. Share a picture of it on my blog if you feel like, as that would make me happy, and trust me, make you happy too.
I would add a small important note here if your journey takes you this far with your senses – you will reach a space,where both the creature and you can look each other in the eye, and feel the energy that created us all. And believe you-me, that’s an incredible experience. You become one with the nature of nature. And the bonus, NEVER EVER ALONE.