Our family discovered an eucalyptus grove not very far from our neighborhood. It takes us quick twenty minutes to reach the place in a car along a well paved road.
I love the surrounding area – it has vast areas of vineyards, fields with carrots, cucumbers, pumpkins, wheat and ragi, and some flower fields. A small beaten up road curves and leads into a small hill, going further through the village and the chicken farm. It was quiet a surprise to discover this place – a treat- being in such proximity to the stuffy and overcrowded city.
We walked along the road, admired the pink and yellow flowery bushes and the chameleons hiding on the branches, little lizards sneaking out and jumping on the grass and away from our looks. I could hear the birds twittering and my sons’ happy voice and singing. I think even this little child of mine finds it refreshing to run through the mud, find a centipede, splash the rain puddle and rush away into the grove between the lean trunks of the eucalyptus trees, chasing after the dinosaurs.
I am enchanted and disarmed. I think my heart grows cold in the city, I build up the walls to protect my inner city, that feels like a little town, shanty house, a tent, and I am scared that the mega buildings will crush me, squeeze me and ask me to vacate, and once again I will have to pick up my suitcases and move to search for a place to settle. I like the word ‘sedentary’ because at this point in my life it gives me a sense of security, rest, stability and comfort. At the same time – it seems I am on a move to reach that state – in my five years of marriage we changed four houses, shifted between USA, Kyrgyzstan and India. It was all fine and now I need that rest and peace. I want to settle, even if it is for just a short time.
On the left side of the road, close to the orange temple, I saw two graves, probably that of the priests who attended to the temple. Nearby was another fresh grave covered with garlands of flowers. Usually I am not ‘encouraged’ or inspired by the death markers but today it also brought some sense of peace, in the landscape of all that surrounded me and I was not troubled or disturbed, on the contrary, it gave me some food for my thoughts.
We reached and as I walked through the grove I breathed in the tang of the soil mixed with the pungent eucalyptus scent. I lifted my eyes to the grey evening sky and felt my cup was full to the brim, I stood in that quiet moment, to connect with myself and strengthen the poles of that little tent of my inner self. After a short time, as it was getting dark, I could leave to go home to continue in a crowded city.
I am glad I found my hiding place, a sacred place where my cup can be filled, a sanctuary where my soul can rest and recoup.