I have been thinking of this moment for a long time, clacking on the keypad, drumming up words, letting my thoughts flow. It has been coming long, since the beginning of the new year which has delivered googlies with such precision that I honestly do not know where to start. Should I begin at the beginning with my travel to Calcutta on the first day of 2020? Should I tell you about the disquiet that spilled into my thoughts as I read there about this novel virus making itself felt in China? It was just the beginning. Who could have predicted that this would be the world we would be living in? Let me rephrase that – for there are revelations of foretellers who saw this coming for some time now — and say that I certainly did not think of the possibility. Must be the brand of arrogance human beings are naturally kitted up with.
We are spending all our time at home. The customary nipping to the grocery stores for provisions has been nipped in the bud. The library has closed its doors. New Jersey has set a curfew for its residents – 8pm to 5am. This leaves intact running in the park and walking till our legs feel it — we have been exploring every odd nook of this town we live in.
I am grateful for this. The opportunity to simply step out. Let my brains air themselves out, let the fresh spring air flood the head with serenity. The cells are in danger of feeling stale with the constant barrage of news that is all gloom and doom (I think the most disturbing part is to read about the panic-buying of guns in this country — not toilet paper rolls, cans of corned beef or soup, but Guns).
The trick is to funnel some of it out, however we can. Let the mind slip into meditative spaces through long unhurried sessions of yoga, make way for the imagination to wander through books, of which one cannot have enough, flip through the pages of cookbooks, rustle up new dishes. There’s therapy in routine.
Spring has arrived earlier this year, but at least it has arrived. To channel Rilke: “The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
Pale pink Rosebud Cherry blossoms. Deeper-hued Sargent Cherry blossoms. Saucer Magnolias. White Wild Pear blossoms. Yellow wildflowers. Fuzzy catkins of Pussy Willows. Portly squirrels running around bushy tailed, nuts clutched in tiny paws, pausing occasionally in your path to see if you have anything to share (drat people who think that animals in the wild depend on them to be kept). The Canada geese and gulls slowly taking their leave. Plump robins flying in. Fresh clumps of grass. Tiny leaves so delicate. Buds unfurling. Sweet spring. Let it work its magic on this overworked state of mind.