“Little drops of water,
Little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean
And the pleasant land.
Thus the little minutes,
Humble though they be,
Make the mighty ages
By Julia Carney
We take a walk almost every evening. Fortunately, we live in a place where there is no pollution and there are many trees around us. Fresh air, breeze from the sea in the distance, the setting sun and the birds returning home after a busy day add beauty to our walk. Along with these things it is fascinating to look at people: each different from the other, and yet there is a sameness too.
Continuing our walk, we go past people who are there to take their evening exercise; but they also enjoy exchanging news with their friends. We hear snippets of conversation which leave me wondering about their lives. Two persons are in their own world expressing their grievances against someone, and about the world in general. Politics is a favourite topic for many. Each one has an opinion about the governance of the country. It is amusing to hear their opinions about politicians. In general these people think politicians are worthless persons.
Once I saw a person walking at break-neck speed, head bent. He was looking neither to the left nor to the right. Does he ever notice the sky, the birds, the trees or the little wild flowers? Walking is a good exercise no doubt but noticing the world around would be good for the mind too. I wonder if he takes these for granted as they are always there. But each day is different, each sunset unique and beautiful in its own way. Looking at the person mentioned above, I thought of people who plug their ears and listen to music. They are in their own world. I am baffled by this. There is so much music in nature that is shut out. Every morning we can hear birds calling out to each other. These are joyous sounds, telling us about life around us. Why would anyone not want to hear them?
One evening while driving back home, we were fortunately not absorbed in our own world. It was twilight. We were nearing home when my husband suddenly stopped the car. We saw a python slowly crossing the road. It was in its own world, unaware of how close it had been to being crushed under the wheels of our car.
As people grow older, the world inside becomes more real than the one outside. Although our health is in our own hands, luck plays a major role in our remaining mentally and physically healthy till the end. On a dark note, I remember my father in the last months of his life. He lay in bed and hardly talked. He had withdrawn into his own mind. He could not communicate with us because speech had abandoned him. But my mother kept talking, hoping that she could reach him. Sometimes she did, and that made her very happy. It is our wont to take things for granted in life. We understand their value only when we lose them.