The last few days of this year. A year that has been a shard of revolving dust, a whirlwind of chaos and mindless energy. As the year winds down, I can’t but think of the things that made me happy through the year. It’s difficult to do so. Our mind has a tendency to shut down the past happiness, calling on it only as memories we turn to in nostalgia.
So, as these days unfold, I will pack away little memories. Give these memories the love they deserve. Cherish them. Because building them afresh is beyond us. As I write, I think to myself that 2016 should be the Year of Happiness. My own search for it, at least. Or as wise souls tell me, I shouldn’t go searching for it all the time. I just have to realize I had it with me all along. Maybe. But that doesn’t a search make.
New Paths and Running
It’s a hazy afternoon in Shimoga. I open the bedroom window of the River View homestay, step out on the balcony. The Sharavathi river follows a quiet path in front. On the terrace there are coffee pods left to dry.
It’s not quite evening. But I haven’t worked out since morning and a thought passes through quick and silver. I step back inside and get my shoes. Running shoes. These shoes have run many a mile and are now tattered, the heel run down. It’s like me to keep holding on to things till they give up on.you. It’s what I end up doing with people as well, I realize. But more on that later. It’s funny how you keep dreaming of the little things in life. Everyone talks of the big goals. The grand dreams. But there are always the little feathers that rustle our soul. The tiny flowers whose bloom we never whisper to anybody. Here’s mine. I had always wanted to go trail running. In the forest. In the hills. By a lake. Anywhere but the road where I usually run. Here it was. The little feather of a dream.
I put on the tattered shoes. Step outside. Down the steps. Turn right, past the shed that has some produce from the farm. To the left, the river watches me. A boat lies idly in wait. I hit the path that winds through the farm’s pepper and betelnut plantation. The sprinklers are on, slow swirling fountains of water that I evade on my way. The ground is squelchy with the water. But it feels different. It feels lighter. I glance at my phone, the Runkeeper app I had downloaded. It’s a slow pace, but as I run, I close my eyes for a moment. And the moment stays there in my mind. The wind. The slow heat of the day melting into the dusk. The winding path. The sprinklers. I reach the gate at the end of the farmhouse. A glorious sun is just settling down for the night. Orange hues casting a fire glow on my sneakers. I go past the farm, reach the highway. But it’s the road. I try to follow the sun. But vehicles go by in a rush. The moment seems to be slipping away. I turn away. For once in my life, I didn’t want the road.
Just the path would do. I go back on the path…and smile away the little feather of happiness for that moment. Feet. Earth. Tattered shoes. Coffee plants. Water. Who would have thought happiness is made of these?