The Fall, that was…

Leaves strewn on the lawn in the backyard, laying quiet.
Some leaves on the deck after a drizzle..
Some trees in our subdivision. Can you hear the leaves dragging with a scrunching sound?

The leaves had started to fall. It was not yet evening, but darkness had started to descend. Yes, it might not be the most pleasant picture for most. But to me, there was a strange familiarity and tranquility in this mood. What did this ambiance mean?A few things…

It ignited some pleasant memories I guess, as it felt comforting! Was it the picture of “fall leaves on a cold evening” that I had once seen when visiting a family friends place when I was 13? The picture on the wall had intrigued me so much that I kept staring at the beauty of it, and a strange familiarity, even though when we do not have Fall colors in India!

Or was this mood a messenger of memories of warm evenings in cold days we spent with friends (my initial days in the US) – where weather would be the last thing that would dampen our spirits! 1018 – the haven of buzz and activity with never a dull moment!

All the houses and roads were quiet but for the leaves preparing to leave, quietly.  I wondered where they would go after spending time with me all along in summer. The bright yellow and orange and red leaves, decked up at their best, before leaving forever. It was so beautiful yet so poignant! “Poignant”, thats the closest I can get to expressing in words. I wanted to hold on to all this, but it would soon slip the more I try to grip with both hands! So I tried to capture it all with my phone…This was last week.

This morning as I sit in my living room, I can see just the woods with hardly any colors. They are bare, all set to bear the snows with stoic courage.

I miss the leaves and the life they exuded!

....and when one evening the sun was ripe; our home and the new-born moon (the white little spot on the top right).

Fog in-fog out!

For the past two days, my drive to work has been particularly interesting! As I stepped out of the house in a hurry (like the rest of us), I stepped into a very different morning! But for my car, I could see NOTHING, as it was one of the foggiest mornings I had ever seen! I started driving and suddenly realized that I had to be very cautious because there was no visibility beyond a couple of meters! It was like suddenly halting, coming out of our mundane trance  and looking around, which we seldom do. For once, my thoughts were replaced by what was around me that morning… and what a morning that was!

I tried to pierce through the fog trying to see familiar environs. All I could see was dried branches for trees, which had embraced the winters by shedding their leaves,  just like landscapes in a black and white Chinese painting. The second layer of trees was a lighter silhouette that, best put, merely existed. I would see a house or two as if painted in dull water colors. It appeared as if I was driving in a city of clouds… How fairytale-ish is that, I thought to myself! I am sure I have fantasized something like this when I was little. Thinking that that fantasy has come true means a lot, if I just don’t discount it by being indifferent. I wondered if fairy tales and childhood fantasies do come true. May be they do, it just that we have long forgotten them to notice!

Nature changes itself, not only through Her seasons, but even every day, or at times every hour. This reminded me of a contemporary concept of a lover trying to keep the ‘spice of the relationship’ by donning new ideas. To a certain extent we depend on Nature for our moods on a day to day basis. She becomes a good subject for small talks. She cleans my car in rains and tells me to be extra cautious while driving when its icy. I go berserk when its a sunny day and my spirits are higher than high! I want to write poetry because I am happy. I plan my vacations around Her. And there are a million things that I can write. But did I ever sit up and express our gratitude to her?

This reminds me of  an excerpt from one of the books that has influenced my life the most: The Autobiography Of  A Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda.  He writes, ” Our relation with nature is one of practical business. We tease her, so to speak, to know how she can be used to serve our purposes; we make use of her energies, whose Source yet remains unknown. In science our relation with nature is one that exists between a man and his servant, or in a philosophical sense she is like a captive in the witness box. We cross-examine her, challenge her, and minutely weigh her evidence in human scales which cannot measure her hidden values. On the other hand, when the self is in communion with a higher power, nature automatically obeys, without stress or strain, the will of man. This effortless command over nature is called ‘miraculous’ by the uncomprehending materialist “.

Nature is a way greater concept than mankind. We have seen Her rage, more so in the recent past, in the natural disasters. A little nudge from her and our lives are toppled! I realized that ideally all we can do is be submissive to the force called Nature. It is but the Supreme in Its manifested tangible form.

I reached work that foggy morning, “thats a lot of fog cleared off my mind”,  I chuckled to myself.