Friday, June 24, 2011

Why Delay Joy?

Some days are just special; everything goes right in unexpected ways. Some days are full of insight, with gifts of love and understanding. My birthdays often fall somewhere in between. I used to think (till as late as last year!) that my birthday was actually a special day, when everyone, including benevolent spirits, would send good wishes my way. I realize now that what makes the difference is not them but me.

I wake up with a pleasant feeling of anticipation. I open my eyes and look around, discarding visions of hatred and focussing on beauty (for instance, this morning instead of seeing crazy bus drivers, I saw a snowy white horse ambling on the road, a rider on its back). I shrug off the stress of the world and carry on with my happiness, saying to myself, "This stress can surely wait another day." Perhaps this is all it takes to make my day satisfying.

Of course, friends help. And so do those unexpected gifts they give, of kind words and acts. My day this year has begun well. The garden looked beautiful - the water lilies were out in all their glory and an annual red lily decided to open all of its petals this morning. There was a flurry of butterflies.

The yoga class was fun as always, unexpected as usual. Each of us does his/her own thing, the class looks superficially confusing but at a deeper level, each one of us is generally trying to learn as much as possible. A beginner watching my husband moving into Bakasana excitedly burst out, "I want to do that, I want to do it now!" The Yoga teacher tries to explain to her that she needs to wait. I am lounging beside the Yoga teacher, watching him help a student when a flurry of waves from the other corner catches my eye. It is another student, asking (in sign language) if we want to indulge in a ghee-rich breakfast after practice. The Yoga teacher has just remembered that it is my birthday and gives me a bear hug. And we finally proceed to partake of crisp dosas and soft idlis doused with ghee. Watch a dog lying on his back, paws up, sunning himself in the middle of a complex traffic intersection.

I come home, very satisfied. I am longing to make myself a cake, but I have decided to spend the day catching up with other things. Perhaps I will just bake a tiny dessert, peaches with cinnamon topped with a bit of crunchy streusel. I continue to think about what it is that brings me peace and contentment. My eye catches a small card my calligrapher friend has made. It sums up my feelings today:

Why indeed?

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