At the end of a rainbow

Lucy found her diamond sky

Chasing Blue Skies

on December 27, 2012

I have never fancied winters for it has invariably conjured images of dark, grey depressing horizons speckled with car tail lights that look like red angry eyes. The cold smog evokes shudders and I don’t feel remotely romantic about numb feet or the breath that condenses in front of my face. So I was understandably happy when some of my friends decided to go on a short vacation this winter. I had taken for granted they had some tropical, breezy, palm trees laden destination in mind and was about to pack my beloved shorts when they happily announced that they would be driving all the way to a lesser known hill station. Now, hill stations have had a special place in my nightmare list. The last time I went “up there”, I was the scrawny kid sitting on the last seat of the “tour-9-places-in9-days” bus vomiting my guts out each time the vehicle lurched. I had given up on “family trips” after that. But after all these years, I decided to give the hills another chance and finally boarded the car suitably armed with blankets, sick-bags and medicines. Probably the low expectations worked wonders. I slept through the night after encroaching upon the entire back seat while my friends took turns driving. I finally woke up in the wee hours of dawn expecting my stomach to churn but a spectacular sight wiped away all my petty worries. The silhouette of distant mountains against the soft colours of the morning sky seemed like an entrance into another world. We soon stopped at a way side dhaba for breakfast and were served fresh, hot aloo paranthas along with tea; probably the best thing one could wish for when frosty winds chill your bones to the core. However, somehow it didn’t irritate me like before. Standing at the edge of roads, gazing at the gushing streams and pine forests that seemed to stretch on forever turned the cold winds into an alluring invitation from the spirit of nature. It was a beckoning I had never heard before sitting in the warm room and staring out of the window back at home. My friends were relieved to see my enthusiasm but none could have felt happier than me in discovering a part of nature I had thought I would never come to admire. The freshness of the frozen morning dew sparkling in the light of the sun, the raw beauty of the snow capped mountains, the story of life embedded in the intricate patterns of age old tree barks, the brilliant blue skies, it was as if magic weaving through reality. Yet, the insidious presence of plastic bags is already tarnishing the pristine beauty of these places. I wonder what it will take for us to realise that protecting these places are crucial in preserving our own humanity. As I made trekked my way up a hill side, the following words of Thoreau echoed in my mind, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” We live in a world that can give us all the convenience one could ask for and yet shy away from the basic questions of life and death. Perhaps all we have been missing is the rhythm of nature that was once as essential to us as our beating heart. So, we end up chasing the blue skies each weekend in a desperate hope to find a missing part of ourselves. Still, there is hope that a time will come when the search without turns into a journey within.

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3 responses to “Chasing Blue Skies

  1. bharath272 says:

    I still have a morbid fear of trekking in the mountains but that doesnt deter Nature from bringing out Her paintbrush:-) … Beautifully written!

  2. hiraman says:

    You write so well. I have been fascinated by your posts.

    • debbiebornfree says:

      Thank you! They say aspiring writers would happily exchange food for some kind encouragement because the latter is such a rare phenomenon. 🙂 I am so glad that you could spend some time at my humble blog!

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