I know I shouldn’t hate things, I hate that I hate things, but I really do hate waking up in the city. Most of the time I don’t think about it like that, because it happens pretty much every day, but the moment the bonds slip loose and I find myself somewhere far far from the smog and the streets and the noise and the cars and bustle – well, I remember. I remember that I LOVE waking up in the country, I love waking up in the mountains, in the greenness and the blueness and the vastness of it all.
Back here in the city looking at pictures of it, like this picture I took of Chisopani, where my mum and I stayed the first night of our trek in Nepal last year, and it all comes flooding back. Remembering that I love it and being far far away from it alerts me to the disconnect I feel with my current surroundings, and drops me into a quiet discontent I’m usually better able to ignore.
Here’s Mum, watching the sunrise that morning, see how the mountains in the back are catching the light of the early morning sun, all pink and glowy? Sunrise is always beautiful, but there is something about sunrise on the mountains that makes you believe. I don’t care if you’re an atheist, a Hindu, a Christian, or a toddler. This sort of grand beauty starts in your chest and spreads outwards, leaving you grateful and curious about what’s going to happen next.
I know this because we lived in the mountains far from town for four years when I was a child, and I woke up every morning and spent the days outside wandering far from our house, swimming in the pond and the creek, poking anthills, playing hide and seek in the forest, sledding in the winter… We were outside all the time, with minimal adult supervision. Of course, it was a different time, and it’s probably not really like that anywhere anymore, but dammit, it should be.
I know there are many wonderful things about the city that are great for kids, but I can’t help it, I hate that my nephew doesn’t have that vastness of space and sprawling wonder right outside his door. The city is good for connecting to people, but country is good for connecting to something else. Something before, something beyond, something timeless and still, and ultimately much larger than any one of us small little beings.
Today is my mother’s birthday. Of all the things I’m grateful to and for her for, today I’m just especially grateful she knew to give me and my brother this gift. The gift of experiencing how small and insignificant we really are and for always pointing out to us what a blessing it was that we should know it.
I love you, Mama. Namaste.