This has been a mixed kind of week, with very heavy rain, occasional cloudy days and an everyday all-pervading gloomy sky that seemed to spread out all across the horizon. Continue reading
The swirling clouds fill in my morning skies. Gone are the glorious dawns when streaks of red and orange filled in every conceivable part of the sky, peeping down through the softly floating masses of cotton-like clouds!
These days, the greyness seems all encompassing and one can’t tell morning from evening or the East from the West, because the skies all around look exactly the same.
My living room has a pile of papers that lie unattended while I tend to the morning chores – the daily routine of mundane tasks that need to get done before I have the luxury to sit and write again.
The only break comes when I rush to pick up the clothes that are on the drying line just before a heavy downpour forces me to leave everything and run to the balcony.
The rains come and go intermittently through the day, in between my passing thoughts, that swing between past memories of rainy mornings and a swarm of faces of the people who crowd my present; of things I have yet to tick in from my to-do lists and fleeting tunes of half- forgotten songs that used to be my favourites once upon a time! Amazing how the mind straddles between diverse worlds and we get caught up in the quagmire of shifting memories!
Another cloudy day for you, did you say? As I settle into my second cup of tea, I seem to have taken countless trips back and forth, before I get my laptop ready to start my post!
So, what does your sky have in store for you today? I am joining Yogi, Sandy, and Sylvia at #SkywatchFriday and looking forward to enjoying all the different skies. This is where bloggers from all across the world link up their posts and visit as many bloggers, in different countries and different hemispheres. What binds us all is our love of the sky. So, join in and have fun.
Wishing everyone a lovely relaxing weekend ahead! Good day everyone!
It was a busy start to the day when I set off to drop my son to school this morning, as he has been unwell for the past two days with sore throat and fever. I had a million things rushing inside my head, as we stopped at the traffic lights. The road was choc-a-bloc with traffic and there was no way that we could navigate past the cars to reach school which was only about 10-15 minutes away. We were certainly going to be late I thought.
Call it a test of patience or what you will, but there was little else to do but to sit quietly and wait. It was frustrating, to say the least…My to-do list for the day, was dangling (metaphorically speaking) before my eyes as I was trying to work out a rescheduling of the tasks for the rest of the morning. I wondered why they call it the ‘rush-hour’, when nothing moves?!
The next minute, I looked out of the window, I noticed the azure blue sky and the tree-lined road ahead, especially one with cherry blossoms that looked very beautiful. For a minute, I had forgotten the traffic and the fact that we were already late for school. I paused my mind for a few minutes to soak in the peace and quiet as all around me chaos reigned supreme. Nature surely has a way of making us calm and patient in a way few things can. I told myself it wasn’t worth stressing about. Fortunately, Arjyo kept his cool too and did not get flustered at all, knowing how he hated being late for the assembly!
I took out my iPhone to grab a quick shot of the beautiful blossoms and the trees, which I’m sharing here with you. It was a while before the cars literally inched their way forward, and we made way to our destination, 40 minutes behind schedule, but glad the ordeal was behind us! What a morning!!
The way back seemed much shorter thanks to those relaxed, warbling, crooning numbers, courtesy Dean Martin! Needless to say, it was pure bliss! I reached home late but relaxed, enough to catch my breath before getting on with the rest of the day.
As I sign off, I wish each of you a relaxed andeasy weekend, no matter how busy you are going to be. Don’t sweat it out on irrelevant things…life is way bigger than that! Happy weekend! See you next week 🙂
(This post is linked to Skywatch Friday, where you get to see some of the most beautiful skies from all across the world)
Of the many things that I’m grateful for, after having moved to this part of the city where I live in presently, the one that comes foremost to mind is that of my East-facing balcony. I’m grateful that I can watch the sun rise every morning…. It’s so splendid to see the morning coming up over the horizon over rooftops and terraces and skyrises and the morning sky glowing through those red and orange clouds. It’s new every morning, and I feel as if I washed my very soul in that bath of earliest sunshine.
The moment when you first wake up in the morning is the most wonderful of the twenty-four hours. No matter how tired or worn-out you may feel, there is always the certainty that, during the day that lies before you, absolutely anything may happen. The possibility of it happening just means it is always there.
I usually rush around at this hour (thanks to the school run) as I have chores that simply cannot wait. However, not before savouring the quiet sunrise first, because that is when my energy reserves for the day ahead are topped up. Watching the sun rise is then a bonus. I always try and find a few minutes to capture the morning sky in my lens or if time is a constraint, on my phone. It gives me a pleasure that few things can ever match!
Sharing some beautiful lines from Thomas Furlong’s Morning Meditations, that aptly sums up the morning scene.
Tis sweet as the day begins to dawn,
When the lark her song is singing,
To wander at will through the grassy lawn
Where fresh flowers around are springing.
’Tis sweet at that solemn hour to go
O’er the rocky slope, all alone,
Where the scattering streamlets freely flow…
’Tis well to inhale the earthly gale,
As it sweeps the green hill’s side…
Or to look on the wood in its leafy pride,
In the glen or on the grove, the dawn is fair,—
Morning is beautiful every where!
What is your early hour like? Do you like waking up early? Do the early hours make you happy or sad?
(Linking this post with #Skywatch Friday, where you get to see some of the most amazing shots of skies around the world)
“We do not think ourselves into new ways of living. We live ourselves into new ways of thinking.”
That quote by Richard Rohr got me thinking today, as I was taking a walk in the park early morning, after dropping Arjyo off at the bus stop. The path was filled with dry leaves of assorted shades of gold and yellow and made a cracking sound, as people walked over them. Poor maintenance of the park in the recent weeks has meant that the pile of dried leaves has only been getting bigger and it was then that the meaning of the quote really struck me. The leaves were just a metaphor for life itself.
What if we imagine the mind as a garden? Positive thoughts are the beautiful flowers that brighten our life. Negative thoughts are the ugly weeds that spread and suffocate the flowers. The dried leaves are the symbol of decay that need to be cleared and done away with, as part of renewal in the cycle of nature – almost how our tired, rusted, worn-out, worry-ridden minds needs to be refreshed, to get on with our everyday lives. And, yet, how often do we really give this a serious thought? Monday has a way of arriving a little too early for our liking and the pressure of the week is palpable on our bearings as we straddle our personal and professional worlds to “get on” with the day. This is why I’d like to tell you about my garden and nudge you to think.
My garden is a really tiny one that fits into our sixth-floor balcony, giving me a wonderful opportunity to tend to them as I revel with child-like happiness at seeing my blooms first thing in the morning! The plants need looking after on a weekly basis. Initially, there were just a few pots which, over time, has now come to cover the entire balcony. It is a pleasure no doubt but it is also a lot of hard work. I find that if the leaves are not pruned and the soil is not replaced on a regular basis, the flowers don’t bloom as well as they should, or, even if they do, tend to be infested with pests, which then, becomes a little difficult and rather long-drawn to treat. So, now, tending to my garden has been an ongoing process. No different really than how we treat our minds on an everyday basis.
In my case, I can tell you, if I don’t tend to it, the mind has a way of digging up more negativity and create more chaos within, which is why pruning (before those ugly thoughts raise their heads!) in time helps! As I’m not a big fan of artificial ways (rather, chemical pesticides) of tackling this, I have opted for natural weed killers (daily walk, yoga, meditation, reading, playing with children, experimenting with my camera and spending time with positive people) That keeps my garden fresh, free from weeds and ready for the beautiful blooms all throughout the year!
If you’d like to know how this happens, do try this activity and see how you feel:
Find a comfortable place to sit–inside or outside–and tune into whatever sounds you hear. Welcome all the sounds around you – the car going by, the dog barking, the refrigerator humming, the silence.
Select something from nature and gaze at it without interruption for five minutes. What do you see?
Eat a mindful meal, giving yourself plenty of time to chew and taste each bite. If you do this with others, agree to not talk during this time. What do you notice?
Give yourself a spa day or break. Do what comforts your body.
Be grateful. You are alive with the ability to experience both your inner reality and the created world. Say “thank you” several times each day.
Say this to yourself: Today I am accepting and savoring the present. I shall not let worry or tension or negative thoughts enter my mind.
I believe we can all use the garden metaphor to bring an awareness of what helps our own mind to grow and flourish. The activity I mentioned above is one of the many ways to weed out the negativity and live into a new way of thinking.
On this busy Monday, I take your leave with a small request: How about sharing what’s on your list of fertilizers and weed-killers?
But, more importantly, I’d really like to know from you – how does your garden grow? How do you renew your mind to get on with the cycle of life?
(Linking this post with #Skywatchfriday)
The stillness of the early morning scene enables me to take in and enjoy many things which pass by me during the bustle of the day. The hour before the sun is up is one of the most hauntingly beautiful sights you will ever get to see. Sweet vapours rise from the earth. Night dew clings to the soil and makes the plants shine. Continue reading
Linking this post with Skywatch Friday, a place where you get to enjoy the different skies and views from all around the globe. Skywatch is as good as the people who post here and if you, like me, enjoy a good capture of the skies every now and then, it promises to be a fun place to post and link from. Do check out the above link to visit their stunning collection of pictures and enjoy 🙂
Another spectacle in the Eastern sky on a Friday morning, in the Southern city of Bangalore in India.
I love watching dawn break every morning and the magic never quite works the same as the day before. Every sunrise is unique and beautiful and every morning holds a promise. The rising Sun brings with it fresh hope and optimism, that we alone can fill in, with our actions, our thoughts, our words, our promises and our dreams. It offers us yet another chance to leave our mark behind in a meaningful way, on things we do and people we encounter, in between those drifting minutes! What we do with the day is entirely up to us…
Isn’t it amazing that each day’s beginning and end are marked by sunrise and sunset, even when we don’t see them?
For now, I am counting my blessings as I’m enjoying a sunny morning, basking in the lovely sunshine, before I set off to tackle a busy day ahead!
Wishing you all a fabulous Friday and a great weekend, as the countdown to Christmas begins!
See you again, soon 🙂
Sunshine peeping through the trees in my neighbourhood park.
The sun is finally shining and the bleakness has given way to an azure blue sky which makes me once again appreciate what a powerful force weather remains in our everyday existence. Of all the aspects of nature, perhaps the one that is the most intimately tied to our mood is sunshine.
Weather influences our psychology in a myriad ways. In fact, all those wonderful metaphors that describe our changeable minds can be ascribed to weather. Moods can be uplifting or sagging, dispositions could be bright and sometimes, even futures can come under a cloud while relationships can turn stormy. Like the weather, our emotions are capable of causing havoc in our lives by turning unstable, enveloping and uncontrollable. If you thought grey weather brings about sober, grey-flannelled thinking, you are probably right.
Over the past two weeks, I have felt this much more strongly than ever. While the mercury dipped and impatience reached an all-time high, I realised that the constant wet and humid weather did make me more tired and irritable. I couldn’t deny it had affected me rather badly. In spite of having lived through the chilly climes of some of the coldest cities of the world, I have never quite got used to it. This kind of weather affects me just the same and I find staying at home unbearable. I confess, I am one among the many who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) who report lower satisfaction with our lives, and there is never any getting used to, no matter where we are. We just need the sun, that’s it.
It is common knowledge that sunlight produces vitamin D, promoting the brain’s production of serotonin, which lifts our mood, and has been proven to be a very effective treatment for people affected with SAD. Studies show that beneficial effects of warm and sunny conditions on mood can best be felt if one spent more than 30 minutes outdoors that day. And a change in our mood almost always has a marked effect on our behaviour. When we are happy, we not only feel more favourably disposed to one another but more helpful as well. This is perhaps what prompted me to venture out this morning, to get some sunshine.
Sunlight has the power to boost positive moods, alleviate negative emotions and eliminate fatigue. But to reap in those wonderful benefits, one has to leave the confines of the four walls and go outside. Else, even good weather can have negative impacts on the mood, especially for those who are confined indoors, but perhaps gazing enviously outside at the fun they are missing out on.
Someone has wisely said: “If you wish to reap the psychological benefits of good weather, go outside.” It is now a little over an hour while I have been sitting and typing on my keyboard. I can’t wait to hit the publish button and breeze out again.
Do you, like me, feel that cold, wet and humid weather conditions make you depressed and low? How does one lift one’s mood and how does one cope? If you are reading this, please do leave a little note to share your thoughts and experiences. That sure will brighten up my day 🙂
Linking this to Write Tribe’s #MondayMusings
When I woke up this morning, at the crack of dawn, my first thought was to look out of the window and see what kind of day was lying ahead of me. Everyone else was fast asleep and I did not have to rush to get on with the chores, as I normally do on a Monday morning, as the school holidays were still on! Having woken up early, I knew I was going to have an extra hour all to myself, so I hurried off to the kitchen, put the kettle on and decided to step out for my early morning walk. For the past four weeks, I have been listening to my body and regularly going for a 3 km walk every day. I cannot describe the joy that comes from doing this without fail every day. The sound of silence has been my constant friend at this hour and as the morning progresses, the stillness fills up slowly by the rhythms of an action-filled day, the call of birds, the shuffling of leaves, amid the varying pace of other walkers in the park, who also come to savour the silence, without fail, walking to their own beats, humming along or listening to their headphones.
It is that time of the day when I am usually at peace with myself and my surroundings, as it happens to be the most profoundly silent of all my waking hours! I have never felt more alive as in these quiet mornings.
These are my moments of absolute quiet, when speech no longer exists, all noise is filtered out and a peaceful vacuum comes to rest between me and my chores. I guess this is perhaps because I have always loved silence. Having grown up in a quiet hill town, and spent most of my childhood listening to nature and the occasional barking of a dog in the neighbourhood, I have grown up to appreciate that stillness, which some people find absolutely unbearable.
To those who hate silence, this might appear to be sheer torture but to me, this is nothing short of a boon – the fact that I enjoy the absence of words and experience a sudden rush of thoughts that makes my mornings beautiful! I savour that vast emptiness of the hour to welcome dawn as the sky changes colours from dark to a splash of gold and crimson.
I am thankful that I happen to live in a quiet part of a very busy city and although it is far removed from the kind of quietness I have grown up with, I am happy to savour whatever peace comes by, before a lazy morning starts and noise takes over.