When I hesitate.

Snow through apple orchards. Vashisht, Himachal Pradesh, India. January 2022.Snow through apple orchards. Vashisht, Himachal Pradesh, India. January 2022.

When I hesitate, when I sometimes falter, living here in the Himalaya when I lose sense of what I have been given, and given only recently, only a year ago, when I ever so slightly take it for granted even in my sleep, I remind myself—

—that for all these years, ever since I was born, I had ugly buildings of concrete and glass for views, I had endless roads of tarmac and concrete with rarely any earth in sight, I had rivers that had become gutters, and air that came secondary with fumes. I think of what my eyes had to bear, eyes that always preferred beauty and nature. I think of the immense anguish and misery that came, from seeing what repulsed me and seeing it all for decades.

And I think to myself—

—that this is all a tale, scenes of fiction, this cannot be real, cannot be what I’m actually living. I must have done some kind deeds, or I must have endured enough, to deserve these mountains.

These scenes that were not for me just a year ago, now they are mine. Given to me in the middle of a pandemic as if there was an end date to my city sufferings. So I remind myself to cherish this lovely dream and never fall asleep, never falter.

February 4, 2022