The weekend is about to begin. It is mid November. We already had an Arctic blast last week. Didn’t get to see much of the sun for almost a week. But today it is sunny. A bright sunny Saturday morning. The deck is flooding with the precious golden warmth. It feels good. It must be the presence of “light” that changes everything. One could almost burst into joyous song.
Diwali is over but Christmas is coming. The lights lead to happiness. We need the slightest reason to celebrate the Light with the lights.
In Bengali - “baranday roddur” meaning sunny verandah has propelled many a poet into mind bending song and dance.
39 degrees now. It is already a couple of hours after sunrise which happens early these days, today our nearest star broke into the firmament precisely at 6:47am. The highest temperature today shall be 41 degrees so we are almost there, before it starts declining back to below 30 degrees. So you see it is deceptively sunny. Looking at the gleaming creek I want to go out for a walk or a run. But wait it is cold and windy today. 25 mph winds. I look outside again. There is not a soul in sight. But there is something that beckons from near the roadside. Something that comes packed in a thin transparent plastic cover. Almost like a present. But lying conspicuously on the driveway next to the mailbox. Fluttering enticingly in the wind. I need to go get that.
It is less than 50 yards to the mailbox but I need to dress up like an amateur Eskimo going on his first visit to the dentist. Where is my Point Zero jacket...ok here we go...Thick heavy jacket with a thick hood to protect against the wind. Full pants. Warm socks. Shoes? Nah I think I will just wear my flip flops. The entire expedition would not last more than 2 minutes anyway.
I step outside like Neil Armstrong stepping outside the Apollo. A gust of wind blows my hood and sends a whistle of cold air into my ear canal. The wind plays a little music sequence on my ear drum. Now my ears are beating to the same rhythm as my heart beat. I retreat back into Apollo. Should I abandon this expedition and forego this quest for knowledge? How would humanity judge me if I missed out on something historic, momentous and newsworthy. No I must do this. For the sake of world peace. I tighten my hood tightly around my chin, take a long deep breath and boldly take a step outside the house. It is a small step ostensibly but a giant step for my inner quest.
There are fallen leaves everywhere. It is actually quite pretty outside. The sidewalk is strewn with leaves dancing to a pattern known only to them. As the sun moves up there is a game of light and shade going on under the red oak tree. The leaves start rustling suddenly as if they have to go somewhere special and then they start going up in circles like a bunch of tiny tots dancing to the music of an invisible pied piper. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. I wish I could stand there longer to appreciate being immersed in this beautiful setting. But my knees start trembling meanwhile. I better start moving towards my real mission now.
As I half walk half run down the driveway holding on to my flying hood, I notice with pleasure that our lawn is finally greener than the neighbors’. It is truly a bit late now to appreciate the lawn at the end of the fall season but it took an entire summer of seeding and fertilizing and an army of people to fix the sprinklers but it seems we finally won. Hello Neighbor - please come out and take a good look now, will ya...
I snapped out of my reverie as I noticed from the corner of my eye the object of my little expedition slowly flying away in the wind towards the other end of the road. I took a desperate dive to catch the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal, not unlike a brilliant fielder performing a flying dive to catch the cricket ball before it hits the boundary.
After a successful morning expedition as I sip some black tea and read about how Google shapes its search results, the social revolution in Saudi Arabia, the reasoning behind the death of Socrates, the epic afterlife of Troy and the review of a masterpiece by Stanley Kubrick, I can smell the sweet and savory spice flavors of cinnamon, cloves and ginger emanating from my cup of tea.
Have a great weekend everyone!