#02 Beanbag Musings – Been There, Done That!

Thank you for your warm and enthusiastic response regarding this newsletter, Beanbag Musings. My yellow bean bag faces a window that looks into some ‘success stories’ my green thumb has been instrumental in nurturing. It is my ‘go-to’ place for any reading, writing and sketchbook entries that I want to do. Therefore, when it came to choosing a name for this newsletter, ‘Full of Beans’ and ‘Beanbag Musings’ were close contenders ☺.

Between you and me, it is certainly our shared love for the written word and our joy in the creative process that has brought us together on this journey.

I want this newsletter to be a fun read, one that can turn into a conversation for some of you, therefore, please feel free to write back to me, should you desire and also pass it forward to others ☺.

Been There, Done That!

When three generations meet and you are smack in the middle, it’s a great feeling…!
Not quite here and definitely not there, yet. Just sitting on the fence on top of the proverbial hill😁…having a great view of both sides.

Nestled between Moms and dads, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, one feels cushioned and loved. 

On the small alter, incense releases its own beautiful fragrance, testament to a grateful heart that lit a lamp in the early hours of morning 🌸. The kitchen is redolent with aromas of some great family recipes being cooked. Everyone seems busy yet grounded in the moment.

Laughter drifts from various corners of this beautiful home where members are catching up with each other, one changes direction, not wanting to miss out on the conversation that is generating such mirth. On the other hand, one steers clear off of those warming up to a heated political debate.

Indeed, one is forever changing paths in a family reunion, wanting to meet up with everyone and miss out on nothing😁

The setting is perfect…Mountains on all sides and the grand, open sky, the perfect foil for them…Providing a different backdrop for every passing hour, it seems.

From a sturdy branch of a tree, hangs a swing with an old wooden slat…An instant reminder of childhood and freedom, fright and flight, mud-caked knees, bruised from falls and healing from all the lessons learnt. 

Of course, one had to swing high in memory of those carefree days…Grey hair or not!

In the evening, the birds come. Sure of food and safety in the corner reserved for them. Their chatter fills the air, enough to silence all of us.

We watch as Bulbuls, Sparrows, Blue Magpies and tiny Oriental White Eye flit around. The musical sound of the Magpie Robin that woke us up in the early morning hours, now mingles with the cries of the peacock. A melodious cacophony before the silence of nightfall.

I sit on a rocky outcrop, marvelling at the beauty and perfection of this world we live in. The order that nature follows is seamless. There is a purpose to everything, known or unknown to us. It is visible in the symmetrical, sun-browned cones that nestle in beds of pine needles. And it is apparent in the delicate green foliage heralding renewal and growth for every tree, bush and blade of grass.

Being on a break makes one realise that there are too many miracles unfolding underfoot and overhead…One life-time seems inadequate to relish all of them. One understands why a star-gazing app on a smart phone just doesn’t come close to the experience of craning ones neck to the mysterious sky, even if the names of the stars elude.

Sometimes, giving a personal identity becomes more important than an online search for the correct one.

It is in such times that one understands the importance of not knowing everything on ones fingertips, of keeping the phone on mute and absorbing the wisdom of slow conversations that quite often begin with, ’In our time…’

Soon, we’ll have been there, hopefully, we’ll have done that, and moved on with no regrets ☺!

Saw ‘A Life on Our Planet’ a British documentary film narrated by David Attenborough. The experience and wisdom behind his words cannot be ignored. Some of the scenes are heart-touching and others, mesmerising in their beauty.

At ninety-four years of age, one can only imagine the richness of life and variety of encounters he must’ve had. This documentary is his ‘witness statement’…And it cannot be ignored.

I miss the wilderness of what Dehradun once was. A small hamlet surrounded by hills and little blinking lights deep in the forests. The call of the jackals and the hooting of owls was the sound I went to sleep to, and that never scared me…At least not as much as the disappearing Sal forests and the constant honking through the night does.

Found a beautiful poem that speaks in ways that I feel but cannot put into words…

Lineage

by Margaret Walker

My grandmothers were strong.
They followed plows and bent to toil.
They moved through fields sowing seed.
They were full of sturdiness and singing.
My grandmothers were strong.

My grandmothers are full of memories
Smelling of soap and onions and wet clay
With veins rolling roughly over quick hands
They have many clean words to say.
My grandmothers were strong.
Why am I not as they?

The exhilarating sight of Coral trees in bloom prompts me to sketch them over and over again. They, along with Semal flowers, light up their corner of the forest in perfect contrast to the green foliage of pines. A breath-taking sight indeed!

Here’s a downloadable sketch for you to colour…

With fewer options to go out in the summer, I am planning of organising an online workshop in May on having fun with watercolour pencils! It is a medium that is simple, portable, colourful and fun to use. ☺

Read here for more information – fb.me/e/26y3VKZbl

See you next month! Stay safe.

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