Day 332

We missed the start of the 25 km walk by an hour and a half because of a roadblock. The workers only spoke a quaint dialect of Hindi, so luckily I was able to communicate with them and get through as a special case. Phew! Thank God! It was so real…I was hugely relieved to find myself in bed breaking into a sweat at 4 am.

In reality, we got there well in time for registration and freshly cut pineapple slices among other things. A gorgeous athletic looking lady took us through a cheerful and enthusiastic warm up routine to an upbeat salsa-like song. Great start.

Once again, nature was on our side. The weather was as perfect as could be – temperature in the high teens, light breeze and gentle sunshine. I did look at the sun tampering down its brilliance by hiding behind a thin film of cloud and smiled. I even blew a kiss at it. I deeply felt like ‘someone’ was watching over us.

The views along river Thames were just stunning – a content herd of calves basking in the sun, lush green grass, cute little cottages and huge mansions with pristine gardens, rowing boats and elegant swans. The organisers had thought of everything. It was a very pleasant experience. We were a team of four so time flew while we chatted and took pictures as we walked together. It took us about 5 hours to complete the walk including 2 breaks.

The finish line was flooded with tears from my eyes and many others. The medal said:

“Life is like the river, sometimes it sweeps you gently along and sometimes the rapids come out of nowhere…”

After getting back home, I lit a candle in front of his picture as usual. Instantly, the thought appeared in my head, “Maybe I didn’t make him feel special enough”. I had to remind myself that at the vigil I had wanted to whisper in everybody’s ear, “It’s not your fault”.

Day 291

“Her weight is 8 pounds 9 ounces. Our son weighed 10 pounds 2 when he was born.”

“This little fellow has so much more hair than his sister.”

“This tiny thing is so much noisier than her brother.”

I often hear remarks like these from parents of new born babies. I suppose comparing the new with the old is natural to an extent. However, it doesn’t stop there. It is everywhere. Comparisons! A pointless exercise in weighing, measuring and often judging.

When I cycle, I do the same thing. I compare the cycles, speeds, clothes, calf muscles and road manners. I tut-tut those who jump the traffic light but when no one is watching, do the same myself. I make excuses to myself for being slower than some of the others, saying “Most of them are at least 20 years younger than me.”

More than the cycling, this constant unnecessary mental noise is exhausting. I caught myself this evening and forced myself to stop thinking and just feel the cool breeze on my face. As I looked up I saw an artistic splash of pinkish-orange and grayish-blue colours decorating the sky. Instantly, I felt light and found myself smiling.

Being observant is clever but it is not the same as being attentive. Putting attention on something does not mean thinking about it. It means to just observe it, to feel it fully, to acknowledge and accept it as it is.  One of the emotions that I have been observing within me is ‘non-forgiveness’. It is partly directed at myself and partly at the cruelty of time….How can there be so much uncertainty?…How can so much be beyond my control?

This endless loop is the mind’s plot to ensure I remain stuck.

Jesus said, “Before you enter the temple. Forgive.”