How the Library (Not the Prince) Saved Rapunzel

When the Covid lockdowns started, many folks went on a buying spree (we all know the toilet paper jokes). Ever the dutiful one, off I went too. I was feeling rather pleased with myself when I got an extra bag of rice, and headed onto the library (to get books to tide us over during the lockdown).  When the husband called to ask where I’d gone, I sheepishly said that I was at the library just in case we were unable to get books during lockdown. I could hear a sound like a paper bag bursting – his version of a cross between a snort, and the urge to laugh. I bragged about the extra bag of rice, and I could see his face wondering why he had to be landed with someone, who in P G Wodehouse’s language, ‘must’ve been bumped on the head as a baby’. 

Well, I must say that when we staggered home with books for the children and self, I felt better. The local library has been one of my favorite spots to visit of course, but over the Covid period, I felt like Rapunzel in the book: How the Library Saved Rapunzel (Not the Prince). The library allowed us to schedule an appointment and arrange to pickup books on hold. What was more, they were kind enough to include a few picture books of their choice if you requested them to do so. I am eternally grateful to have access to libraries.

I felt almost an irresistible urge to increase my Science based reading this year (maybe this is a tiny rebellion for the disturbing anti-Science strain emerging with the 45th POTUS office). Starting the year off by re-reading Carl Sagan’s Cosmos set the stage for the year ahead. The following books gave me no end of pleasure and learning over the year. (My Science writing class for children)

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2020 was the 50th anniversary of Earth Day

  • Unbowed – Wangari Maathai (in progress)
  • On Looking  – Alexandra  Horowitz
  • Losing  Earth  A Recent History – Nathaniel Rich
  • This is the Earth – Diane Z Shore & Jessica Alexander, Paintings by Wendell Minor

Bill Anders said: “We came all this way to explore the moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth.”

What a lovely statement that is, and together with his Earth Rising image, contributed to the concerns around Planet Earth that led to founding of Earth Day in 1970.

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It was also a wonderful year to take in poetry. Mary Oliver & Margarita Engle were always welcome in a year when poets alone seemed to know the right turn of phrase for the bizarre. Dr Seuss & Jackl Prelutsky always know to turn one’s frown into a smile. 

  • Blue Iris – Mary Oliver
  • Enchanted Air – By Margarita Engle
  • Dog Songs – Mary Oliver
  • Owls and other fantasies – Mary Oliver (Yes! no!)
  • Be Glad your nose is in your face – Jack Prelutsky
  • Dr Seuss books (always worth reads and re-reads). I found a few gems that truly tickled the mind and got out some belly laughs.
    • Horton hears a Who
    • Horton Hatches an Egg
    • Sleep book
    • Oh the Thinks you can Think
    • How Lucky You Are
    • Thidwick the Big Hearted Moose

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With the Black Lives Matter movement, the year was ripe for educating oneself on the inequities of society and civil disobedience. The local library, news media, and friends all helped with an excellent array of reading material. Notable among the works read then were:

  • Becoming – By Michelle Obama
  • Black Panther – by Ta Nehisi Coates
  • Sneetches and other stories – Dr Seuss
  • A Long Walk to Freedom – Nelson Mandela‘s children’s book version
  • My Many Colored Days – Dr Seuss

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With uplifting books and humour, life can be truly marvelous. My all-time favorites kept me company, and I am eternally grateful to their influence of course but a few others were added to the list this year.

The world isn’t such a good place either, and reading books such as these helps to remind us about the many problems that still beset society

The lure of power, and how we are seeing it all play out in real life

  • The Fate of Fausto – Oliver Jeffers
  • Louis I – The King of Sheep – Oliver Tallec
  • Yertle the Turtle and other Stories – Dr Seuss
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (pieces relating to the Minister of Magic refusing to acknowledge Voldemort’s return so he could stay in power)

Of course the true magic of life is never complete without children’s books. There are so many of them in this genre, that I did not even note half of them. But a few of them lit up my life

  • My Grandma is a Ninja – By Todd Tarpley, Illustrated by Danny Chatzikonstantinou (When I become a grandma – though it is a few decades off, that is how I wish to be 🙂 )
  • Gondra’s Treasure – By Linda Sue Park
  • Enchanted Wood – by Enid Blyton (old Saucepan Man, Silky and Moonface with the lands above the enchanted tree – though it doesn’t hold the same level of magic it did as a child, it still has its charm)
  • The Red Pyramid – By Rick Riordan (this was the son’s recommendation, and thoroughly enjoyable it turned out to be romping down the Egyptian myths!)
  • The Quiet Book – by Deborah Underwood
  • A Fun Day with Lewis Carroll – Kathleen Krull & Julia Sarda
  • Peter Rabbit’s Tales – Beatrix Potter
  • Why is my Hair Curly – By Lakshmi Iyer
  • A History of Magic – Based on Harry Potter Universe
  • Tintin Comics (a fair few)
  • Calvin & Hobbes
  • The Velocity of Being – Maria Popova & Claudia Bedrick

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On that magical high note, here is wishing everyone a healthy, happy new year in 2021. Things are already turning around, and looking hopeful. Keep reading, and sharing 🙂

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The Secret of the Wings

So many days in the past few weeks, I have tried desperately to snatch a moment here, and a moment there, in the midst of hectic, crowding days of meetings, expectations and deadlines. Sometimes, I peek out of the window in the precious moments between ‘Leave meeting’ and ‘Join meeting’ to catch a glimpse of the beautiful November days with its soft sunshine through the yellowing leaves, each leaf 🍁🍃🍂 taking its chance to show its beauty to the world in a grand flourish before it lets go. The evenings are dark by the time the little tiles on my meetings are gone, and I clutch my coat about me as I stare at the tiny ✨ dots lighting up the night sky instead. 

So, we went:  before the crowds hit the mountain resort for the Thanksgiving holidays, the husband worked his magic and found us a little house that was free for a couple of days only. 

All of the Californian plains that we traversed for the 100 odd miles was bursting forth with fall colors. The reds were particularly fetching against the browning hills. Traffic was very light, and as we started climbing the Sierra Nevada mountains, a nippiness crept into the air. It is the lunar waxing phase, and the moon was out early in the afternoon keeping us company as we climbed the mountains. The fall colors gave way to the snowy reaches, and soon, it was apparent that here, it was no longer Fall. Here it was Winter.

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The journey reminded me of the scene in the Tinker Bell movie where the warm fairies peek into the winter lands. The orange, yellow and the brilliant reds slowly gave way to evergreens and a world blanketed in snow. There is nothing half as marvelous as a sunny day with wispy clouds against the azure skies and a snowy backdrop. This was winter wonderland alright. 

Mulish as I was, I took off on a walk as soon as we reached our destination. I huffed and puffed up the steep hills, my lack of exercise clearly showing in the panting under the mask. I was grateful for the mask for it held the warmth of my breath in as I walked on towards the snowy reaches affording a view of the vast Lake Tahoe from up above. The moon twinkled its milky light on the snowy  reaches below, and I stopped here and there to take a picture. I remembered reading in The Sea Around Us that some of our ancestors thought the moon was made up of ice (it was a much older notion of course). It was an appealing theory – standing there in the light of the moon, with the thin glint of the snow light all about me, I could imagine how our ancestors came up with that one. 

I like to see how we made leaps in understanding, and I feel the joy of every discovery almost anew as I gain even a little understanding deeper than before. One of the things that still astounds me is the spatial intelligence required to figure out our position in the cosmos. I watch the constellations change their positions in the sky every night, I notice the moon at a different place and time, and yet, every time, I marvel at the leap of understanding for mankind. 

Read: The Man Who Deciphered the Heavens – a post on Nicholas Copernicus

That evening, the movie of choice was Tinker Bell’s Secret of the Wings. The daughter and the son overruled all the action packed thrillers suggested by the hardworking man who found us the cabin in the first place, and we settled in to watch the feisty fairy instead. Tinker Bell, the impulsive little thing that she is, is curious to see what the winter wonderland is like. Since the fairies of the warm lands are banned from going over to the winter side, of course she wants to go. It only seemed fitting to sit and watch the little movie together. 

Closeted in what looked like an adventurer’s cabin, with the soft light of the snow reflecting against the moonlight outside, a fun movie, and the warmth of food and beverage created the magic that Tinker Bell and her friends were creating up in Pixie Hollow. The pixie dust swirled and poured out in to the world, and we did the same with our comments. 

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We sought peace in the less popular trails. It was a trip meant to process the year, and say thanks to the world in spite of all that has happened during the year, or because of all that has happened during the year. I feel most like Anne of Green Gables when she says she does not know how to pray, but when out in the woods, looking up at the great gifts of nature, she can just feel a prayer and let it out into the universe. 

Isn’t it magical when our most positive thoughts take on wings and soar?

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“I’d go out into a great big field all alone or into the deep, deep, woods, and I’d look up into the sky–up–up–up–into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I’d just feel a prayer. …” Anne of Green Gables, By L M Montgomery

How do we exist?

It had been another long day, and as the clock ticked towards midnight, the body yearned for sleep, but the mind looked longingly at the tsundoku pile, and craved for some quiet moments of solitude. I peeked out of the window, and the moon sailing high through the skies tugged at my heart. There is something so intensely beautiful about catching sight of our  lovely cosmic neighbor sending its mellow moonbeams through the leaves at night.

I looked for a word that captures the phenomenon, but there isn’t one.

There are two words in Japanese that come close (the Japanese language has such amazing words for admiring wondrous nature around us.)

Kawaakari ( 川明かり – a word depicting the evening reflection of light on water, or in some cases can refer to the reflection of the moonlight off flowing water.

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Komorebi (木漏れ日): Sunshine filtering through the trees.

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I had just started reading The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson. In the first chapter, Rachel Carson takes us with her steady voice into a time on Earth before the seas were created. When the planet was still heaving and churning its metallic ores, hot searing waves of liquid settling into a semi-liquid state in its outer cores. She wonders then about the question, how were the oceans formed?
“So if I tell here the story of how the young planet Earth acquired an ocean, it must be a story pieced together from many sources and containing whole chapters the details of which we can only imagine.
For although no man was there to witness this cosmic birth, the stars and moon and the rocks were there, and indeed, had much to do with the fact that there is an ocean.”

Then, she leads us from this fiery place in the cosmos with the sun heaving its solar flares, the earth itself arranging itself into concentric spheres with hot, molten iron at its core, and an intermediate sphere of semiplastic basalt , the outer layers of granite and basalt. And then gently she lures us into the possibility of the moon and the ocean being related to each other.

The next time you stand on a beach at night, watching the moon’s bright path across the water, and conscious of the moon drawn tides, remember that the moon itself may have been born of a great tidal wave of earthly substance, torn off into space.

How can one not be mesmerized by the creation of the moon? Was it truly hewn from the surface of the earth (The moon’s density does match the density of the outer crust). The hypothesis that the moon was hewn away after massive solar tides exerting a pull on semi-molten Earth is based on the theory that the large portion thus hewn away left such a large scar on the surface of the Earth. A scar that would continue to shape Earth and its lifeforms for millions of years afterward: The Pacific Ocean.

Later, as the Earth cooled and clouds formed from the steam rising, the rains started. Pouring onto the hot earth for years – initially almost immediately evaporating into steam, but eventually collecting as water – forming the first oceans.

It is, of course, fascinating that we still do not know for sure how the moon was created. There are several theories – theories of violent impacts, random objects being attracted by gravity, and young earth managing to keep one satellite, while heftier ones like Jupiter acquiring 67 etc. This is a topic still under discussion.

https://www.space.com/19275-moon-formation.html

Nevertheless, the very first chapter had me wowed. I would never be able to look at our closest cosmic neighbor with the same eyes ever again. How often I have stood marveling at the moon? Out on walks, my heart always skips a beat when I catch sight of the beautiful, faithful satellite accompanying Earth as she tears through space. To think that there is a possibility that the very creation of our cosmic neighbor was crucial to our oceans is awe inspiring. I live on the Pacific Coast, and never can I see the bays, the ocean or the moon without reminding me of this book.

The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson

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The skies hold the answers to our most philosophical stirrings. Why do we exist?

The seas, it seems, holds the answers to our most existential stirrings. How do we exist?

The Sandpiper’s Wisdom

I had finished my lecture on the unnecessary stress being online gives after the daughter told me about streaks. She had taken a picture of her left nostril for a streak, and I was appalled. “IF you are going to send a picture, at least take one worth remembering.”

“Relax! It is just for a streak.” Streaks are apparently how many days in a row you have sent pictures to each other. The pictures themselves are deleted, so it doesn’t really matter is what I was told. I was having trouble stomaching something like this. Pictures were important were they not? They were little bubbles of memory. You took some bubbles and relished them again and again. I appreciate my left nostril but do not revere it with a picture! I said somewhat indignantly.

When we take family pictures, we write sagas about them.

Challenges here: The Saga of the Family Photos

Precursor here: The Family Photo Saga Part 2

Motive Matters here: The Spirit in the Photograph

The daughter told me that times had changed, and asked me if I wanted a picture of my left nostril too. “This little thing has changed a lot of stuff mama” she said waving her precious phone, and gave me that look that makes me feel like a T-Rex fumbling on an aeronautical console. I blew my nose in disgust, and went about preparing for the picnic by the beach.

“Can you take a pic of me like this?”, said the teenaged daughter, handing me her smart phone, the matter of the left nostril forgotten for greater things in life, such as the tranquillity of a beach. She looked happy and contented. Just the right kind of picture that will satisfy social media gargoyles, her expression seemed to indicate.
I took the picture, and showed it to her.
“Ugh! Lousy picture! Gosh! Okay….okay…let me show you. See…just have me look out into the ocean and take it from this side.”
“Makes you look like a silly woodpecker wondering where the trees have gone while looking into the ocean.”, I said.
She laughed raucously, and said “Just take the pic!”

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After a few pictures and videos of the waves lapping the shores, she sniffed the air like a horse raring for a race. “Interested in a race little dobucles?” she said, and tousled her little brother’s hair. I looked at the promising noses twitching with competitiveness, and I offered to referee as I set the pair off on their race.

It was on the way back that it happened.

A wave with a little extra force knocked the pair off their feet. While the gangly teenager managed to regain her balance, the little fellow a few feet behind her in the race was wrapped around snugly by the wave and fell sliding with the waters into the wave. I ran to lift the fellow. He had managed to sit upright, but was sputtering sand and spouting saltwater like a little dolphin. It was several minutes before he started laughing. I herded him back to drier patches, changed his clothes, rinsed out his mouth etc.

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It was then we noticed the daughter’s cellphone was missing. It had probably popped out of my pant pockets and washed into the ocean, while I was running towards them.

I don’t know how many teenagers will take lightly to having their cellphones dropped into the ocean. Mine took it stoically. All those pictures at various angles for her instagram feed, pictures of her left nostril for streaks, sound tracks of the waves, videos of the edge of the sea- all gone. Had we been anywhere else, the disappointment would probably have been keener. But we were surrounded by a sunny day at the beach. Nature calmed and soothed, and it seemed to the daughter as if the dear ocean need not have tried that hard at all. She was stoic enough.

“I called the number at night again, and there was a glug-glug sound in response. “ I said the next day.
“Too soon Amma! Too soon!”, she said giving me a wan smile, but brightening at the thought of her quip. “But the jellyfish is a smart one huh?!”

Days later, I patted my pockets looking for my cellphone. I hollered to the children to get my phone as I headed out.“You know? The ocean has taught me that we don’t really need cellphones. Life is just fine without it! I can remember the sound of the waves, and the beautiful images of the day by the beach if I just close my eyes.” said she donning an expression of experienced wisdom.

We then burst out laughing. “Running by the beach is always a wise thing to do, that is probably why the sandpipers are the wisest of them all.” I said, and she agreed. Those little birds running up and down with the waves were a sight worth remembering.

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The human race is challenged more than ever before to demonstrate our mastery, not over nature but of ourselves. _ Rachel Carson.

The Edge of the Sea

The Edge of the Sea beckoned with increasing urgency. 

We can technically reach the sea shores within a couple of hours drive, but the routines of life mean that we rarely do so. I looked at the pleading look in the daughter’s eyes as she pumped for a day at the beach, and consented. And so, it was with considerable energy that the children and I packed our picnics for the day. The entertainment bag with books, snacks and sandwiches were ready, soul filled up to the brim with good hearted spirits, and we set off to the cold shores of the Pacific Ocean on the Californian coastline. 

I must admit it is a beautiful thing to do. It is especially sweet when one has taken the day off. One can imagine the rest of the world working in drab offices, spouting theories, pouting about the myriad tasks that occupy one’s day, while we gaze contentedly at the ocean, listening to the sound of the waves lapping the shore. Wildflowers bloomed creating a kaleidoscope of color a short distance away. Birds and butterflies flitted around them gaily.

 

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Out on the beach, there were a couple of families who were also enjoying a small Spring break, and there was harmony between land and ocean dwellers alike.

Kites were being flown by some, and the little dragon and butterfly shaped kites took off with an ease that is hard to get in landlocked parks. The sea gulls were making pests of themselves over an upturned packet of someone’s carefully packed picnic. Every time someone came to shoo them, off, they lifted themselves with a grace that the man-made kites could never quite get.

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A little farther away from us were a couple of small birds, who I have since learned are called sandpipers. And what a fitting, poetic name for the little marvels?! They darted in and out with the waves looking for whatever it is they eat from the foam that washes up. They inspired us to play the same game of keeping as close to the lapping waves as possible but not getting wet. We did, but we were nowhere as elegant and nimble as those little busy sandpipers.

Days later as I bustled about the day, a quick darting image of these little birds would flash before my mind’s eye, and I would indulge in a small smile. A smile that reminded me of the bigger gift of life that surrounds us, a life and planet so marvelous that our daily tensions can in an instant be gone just by stopping to think of them.

The edge of the sea is a strange and beautiful place – Rachel Carson

Regular readers know that the teenaged daughter should have been born a mermaid. Since she is a human being, she makes up for the shortcoming by thriving on all things ocean related. Her reading is generously sprinkled with mermaids; her drawings of coral reefs, fish and dolphins reached a point where her teacher said she had to choose a land based theme to draw so she learns the techniques for drawing different scapes; her favorite myths involved the Greek God of the Oceans, Poseidon. And it all started early. She watched Finding Nemo & The Little Mermaid 666 times.

 

Every time, I crave for the forest, she craves for the beach. “A quiet day at the beach is a wonderful thing. Most importantly, you don’t have to do anything. No hikes, no walks, no did-you-see lists Amma!” she said, and as I watched her loll on the beach with a book in her hands, I must admit that the appeal is infectious.

The edge of the sea is fascinating. Watching the shoreline move in accordance with the tides and waves is engaging. The sandpipers and seagulls can entertain you all day. Who needs phones by the beach? (Coming up next)

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Books: The Edge of the Sea – By Rachel Carson

Snow Snuffles & Snuggles

The alarm went off at 5:50 in the morning. That moment of transition between sleep and wakefulness is a short, sharp one on certain days, and a dull, lingering one on others. That day, it was a swift rising.

The alarm tinkled with a naughty smile – “Snow snuffles and snuggles”, it said with a snowman and a snowflake thrown in for good measure.

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The husband was not awake yet. Would he have liked this alarm? I wondered as I hit a snooze, and gathered the flowing blankets around me for a quick snuggle in the warmth before padding out into the cold to start the day.

The alarm that day was meant to set the mood and it sure did. We had gone over for a quick ski trip in the mountains nearby, and while we all looked forward to a day in the snow, it was also a day that the weather app forecasted as having heavy snow in the upper reaches and rain in the lower reaches of the mountains.

Driving in the snow is not for everyone. The last time we were stuck in the middle of a snow storm , we found ourselves, car and all, whistling and gliding through the snow looking like reindeer chasing after blackberries and magic mushrooms. (Read here: In Boysenberry Jelly & Mistletoe Jam)

Obviously, I was worried.

Which meant, I sat straight backed, with my woodpecker nose lengthening in the rear view mirror as I drew agitated gasps. I was also doing an impressive amount of passenger-seat driving and botching up directions thoroughly ( we found ourselves losing our way at least twice and doing a u-turn with the snowflakes hurling at us with light-hearted gaiety). My frowning only seemed to make the snowflakes more frivolous and they seemed to dance and jig their way from the skies looking joyous and relaxed, while I twitched and tutted inside, restless for us to reach our destination.

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Snow

All of that worry evaporated the moment the car was parked and we found ourselves out on the slopes however. My face split into a slow wide smile, and I raised my face to welcome the little flakes on my skin. I was wearing a black scarf, and the snowflakes against the scarf made for a wonderful sight. Never had I see them this closely, and I was mesmerized. Each of them had a beautiful symmetry and a unique shape. Some of them clung together giving them the shape of pinecones. Others landed gently on my scarf giving me the gift of observing their individual shapes.

I have heard it said that no two snowflakes are the same. Every time in the snow I wonder how they possibly could have studied that. When millions are hurling down, what is the sample size that can make us reasonably assume that no two snowflakes are the same? It turns out the myth of the snowflake probably originated in 1885 in a remote farm in Virginia. A farmer, William Bentley, spent his winters photographing the snowflakes placed under a microscope. He spent years trying to photograph over 5000 flakes ( an extremely hard task given how quickly the snowflakes sublime.)

Wilson Bentley – The Farmer Who Gave Us Snowflake Images For The First Time (Wikipedia link)

Wilson Bentley's Snowflake Images
Wilson Bentley’s Snowflake Images

I had no idea I could enjoy seeing the snowflakes so much: Tiny versions of perfection, and joy. And I had with me perfect companions on this adventurous day – Children. Children, who had not yet lost their sense of wondrous joy, and they helped me enjoy these little models of perception and perfection almost with as much joy as their own, and to that I am grateful.

I recently read Rachel Carson’s, A Sense of Wonder, in which she says:
“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder … he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.”
—Rachel Carson

I hope I was that adult to these children, but the truth is that they were the ones who led to my inner child so surely and unerringly with their enthusiasm and joy. I learnt from them not to mind the discomforts of a blue nose or a shivering hand when I had at my disposal the enormous present of appreciating a snowflake’s beauty.

Oh Rapturous Spring!

A Version of this post was published in The India Currents Magazine : Oh Rapturous Spring!

There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.
Rachel Carson: A Sense of Wonder

Growing up in the hills of South India, our seasons were broadly divided into: Rainy and Not-Rainy.

It was beautiful and scenic all around, and I am eternally grateful for a childhood spent in these charming environs. It isn’t a gift granted to many, and I realized it as a child, and even more so as an adult who lives far away from these beautiful hills.

We had the following seasons:
South west monsoons in June/July
North west monsoons that doubled up for Winter in Nov, Dec
It rained almost 9-10 months of the year. April, May were months we could hope for sunshine, and these doubled up as Summer.

This many rainy months without electronic stimulation meant that we learnt to occupy ourselves with books and our imaginations. (Complaining about being bored got us the gift of chores or more homework. We were smart enough to give these two a wide berth and be completely at peace with ourselves). The books I read were varied and often spoke of hideous adventures, some sleuthing that was just off the charts, travel etc. Many of these books were set in Europe where the seasonality was different from the rainy and not-rainy strains we saw. They spoke rapturously of Spring and Autumn.

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I have to admit, I did not truly get the meaning of Fall and Autumn till I saw it for the first time with my own eyes.

When I first moved to the United States as a wide-eyed bride, everything about the weather and seasons seemed wondrous (it still does). Suddenly, what the books were talking about when they referred to Autumn and Spring took on a new meaning.

The bare trees have a beauty of their own. How could there be trees without any leaves I wondered when I first came. But every year, since, my heart has burst at this explosion of beauty when the leaves change colors, when the stark branches stand out, and when the flowers burst forth on the trees all at once, before slowly growing and complementing them with leaves.

I watch wondrous, a child again, as I see my flowering cherry tree, the apricot tree that flowers a little later etc.

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Looking at the Earth fresh and green in its Spring glory has been marvelous. Oh heart, does it not sing when you see geese flying towards the waters and making a perfect landing? The joyous anticipation of seeing mallard babies as they get ready to hatch in a few weeks has me in a tizzy. The blooming of my first daffodils have given me joy beyond measure.

Growing up in the Nilgiris gave me the immeasurable gift of finding pleasure in the simple gifts of nature. It is the reason I persist in passing this on to the children, even though I am given the who-is-the-little-nature-nutcase? pat on the head by them.

I could not have put it better than Rachel Carson in her small book, A Sense of Wonder:

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring.

Rachel Carson – A Sense of Wonder