I park my car, thinking of the last time I was there. With thoughts of beautiful fall colors occupying my mind as I start walking, I run into a woman mumble an automatic 'good morning', walk ahead only to realize that I have run into a dead end. I turn around and as I walk back, I run into the same woman and this time I mumble with a smile "I wasn't thinking" at the same time realizing it is because of all that thinking that I had taken the wrong path! What an irony, I think! As I walk through the grounds, the chirping of birds, the gently sprouting trees, the stop and go squirrels collecting food remind me of the abundance of life. What an irony, I think! I see a runner go by, then a little further on my walk, a group of other runners come by! Here I am with a camera dangling around my neck walking. I see a woman walking with a rosary, a broad serene smile on her face observing a pair of geese. I turn around to watch the geese land in the little man-made pond with so much noise as if to tell the whole world that there they are, together. That reminds me of the time when I have run into brides and grooms at the same place. I wonder about all the life that everyone seems to find here. What an irony, I think! I continue my walk, taking pictures, taking in all that is happening around me in that silence and come upon a weeping willow. This one has not grown very tall but has chosen to spread out wide closer to ground reminding me of the giant trees of Costa Rica. I am reminded of an aunt who always tells me to get/stay rooted as a tree and spread my branches and offer what I can to everyone who comes near me! Finally, I smile! As I see the groundsmen doing work around the place, trying to keep it clean and beautiful, I think of the recent history tour we had taken on our travels and finally understand that the people who have passed on influence us as much as the living. I am reminded of the Native Indian quote "Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. “Be still” they say. Watch and listen you are the result of the love of thousands”. Somehow it is very heartening to remember that quote. The smile stays! I come home, rush to take an immediate shower (the practicing Hindu that I am!), light a lamp to God thinking of Shiva, praying that I may be blessed with the ability to become that person who can make a difference. I look out the window see the same life around me - flowering trees, squirrels, chirping birds. I watch the gently falling raindrops and think of the weather forecast threatening snow in a day. I think of my fruit plants flowering already and hope they are not affected too much. I look at my potted plants growing in anticipation of good weather, tell them ‘one more day before I can take you out’. I now know that life is simply to be experienced! As if in answer, I hear the radio play “zindagi ka saath nibhatha gaya mein”. As I continue to look through the rain-soaked windows, the next song that plays is “gun guna rahe hai bhavare” in the background making my heart race wild with joy! Yes, all that joy is waiting to be felt and experienced! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PS: There is a historic cemetery in the city I live in and tours are conducted routinely, and this place is a paradise for natural beauty. A visit to that place inspired this snippet.