Forests

There are invaluable lessons in the forests. Even more if you have made the forest your home. There is a certain pace at which the forest functions and dare you try to outrun that pace. One can only try to live with it in sync and harmony or maybe slower. Slower is absolutely possible. The forest doesn’t mind that pace. It is closer to its rhythm.

In the yogic sciences, it is said that mother earth has her own rhythm and her breathing is slow and steady. If one is aligned to her, ones breath is reflective of that rhythm. And the slower the breath, the more in sync one is with the cosmos. Maybe that is why the forest doesn’t mind the slow.

I have been living in a forest house in the Himalayas for a few days now. The only amenities available are a roof on your head, basic electric supply to cook your food, warm hearts around for warm conversations and chores. While I have complete freedom to be with the forest, no delay there, for everything else, one has to practise patience. Sure enough, there are lessons in delayed gratification.

The water has to be fetched before it can quench the thirst. The wood has to be collected and fired before it can keep the residents here warm and comfy. The food has to be slow cooked one at a time before we can call ourselves full. Attending to nature’s call can only be done more than a few meters away where one is not visible to any human eye. The few dishes available for use have to be cleaned before you can even decide the next meal or sip of a warm beverage. Everything is either a few meters away or a few steps below or above.

However, in all this, what is abundant is time. And that looks like such a contradiction to the slowness of everything. One would imagine that all the work required to be done around the house and the farm would keep one busy the entire day; however it is that very slowness that allows one to sit back, observe and internalise. There is a certain space between the start and the finish of any and everything—human or natural. It’s like everything and everyone is given the opportunity to assimilate and respond rather than just act, react and achieve the outcome.

Cabin in the woods

Perhaps this is the very reason people feel so relaxed, rejuvenated and centred after being with nature. While the forest doesn’t interfere with human workings like the way we have been interfering with it, it sure leaves an impression on us like we are one of its own. Allowing us to assimilate its wisdom and pace. Allowing us to re-align ourselves to the source. To many it is beautiful. And whatever is beautiful, we want to keep it close and strive to make it available to us at all times. I wish we are able to make forests available to ourselves and our future generations. Just so the opportunity to experience beauty, alignment and wisdom is forever and the rhythm of the mother continues to guide our rhythm.

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