24 Sep A cup of tea
I stood in the bedroom balcony overlooking the eucalyptus forest sipping from a steaming hot cup of tea. The nippy westerly cooled my body even as the dregs and sips warmed me from inside. The aroma filled my senses waking them up gently. The eucalyptus branches swayed with the breeze while grey clouds covering the sky stood absolutely still. They lent their stillness to me. My thoughts and feelings oscillated from one to other as if to accompany the swaying of trees. I was experiencing all of this and at the same time watching myself savoring this experience too. For once it felt as surreal as a part of me seemed to have become the inert, still sky while another joined the trees to seemingly celebrate their existence. I had no will of my own working. A child of nature, I was being embraced by its abundance. If I were to describe this experience, one word which will be most apt is wholesome. Even when the cup of tea got over the experience lingered and is still lingering as I am writing this note.
Most things in our life are like the cup of tea. They contribute to making the experience of life wholesome. While they are transient and do not last long, the experience that they go into creating is everlasting. If, and only if, we savor every moment of such experiences with all our senses, consciously. Then there is no craving, no sense of loss when they get over.
Can you identify such things in your life, which contributed to creating savory situations and then got over? Leaving you craving for more as you could not savor the experience completely, consciously? The vacations that you whiled away in watching TV or playing games, the parties that you wasted in the din of loud music and meaningless chatter, the walks down the winding village road during which you were lost in strategizing and planning for future, a romantic evening engrossed in looking back and critiquing the past and so on. Leave aside these occasional events. What about moments of promise from your day to day life? From the time you wake up to the gentle radiance of a morning sun, the energizing cup of tea or coffee, the freshness of a bath or wash, the wholesome breakfast, the work that you are blessed with to earn your livelihood, the live relatable human souls you come across as friends and colleagues? These are all like the cup of tea – transient and temporary – and yet coming with promise for you to live and savor life’s moments to their fullest and be left with an everlasting sense of wholesomeness and gratitude. These come into your life not to be consumed and done with but to give you opportunities to make your life lastingly meaningful.
What are you doing with your cup of tea? What lasting wealth is it helping you to create with all that you are doing when you are not alive? Wealth, which will make you leave this world with a sense of fulfillment, knowing it was a life well lived?
Life is an opportunity. It can be lived or not lived, partially or completely, depending on the choices you make. While all that is there in nature does not make choices of their own but are governed by Nature’s law, you and I have been gifted with the will and skill to make choices. How meaningful are the choices we are making? How life affirming are these? How fulfilling is the experience that they lead us to? And most importantly, are we at all making such choices, consciously, to make most of the opportunity of life or being led through dark dreamy alleys of the past, oblivious of the cup of tea getting over and hankering for more?