On the train. Outside the window is India. The north, the history, the dry earth, the pollution. The sunshine, motorcycles, dry brush, stunted trees looking very bare and sparsely speckled on the brown and grey countryside. Some huts, some women sitting solitary on the ground, maybe taking a rest from her work in the fields.
Tall grasses on sandy patches. A shrine grabs my attention, small, colourful. Gone. Sometimes we are beside another track, sometimes nothing between us and the ground.
A family of goats, maybe 8 in a group foraging in a field.
Young families or older children working to gather up recyclable bottles left behind in heaps at the train stations that we pass through. More women working in back bending labour, dressed still in colourful silky fabrics, with bracelets gleaming in the sun as her arms swing gently and her body carries the burden of the work at hand. Random cows eating what they find, standing on a road, engaged in the simple act of being.
“My need to be sociable is more great than my need for comfort and personal space.” The phrase pops out of my mouth without the forethought that might precede that kind of statement. An insight for me. A knowing deep in my heart. I wanted this journey. I may have asked for it in a previous life. Perhaps just new to my awareness.
Silly emotions come and go with stories wanting to attach and attract my awakened attention. The purpose of the day is to try to let those stories stay unspoken. Can I be with this? Can I stay in this moment? Just this, only this, always this.
I say a peaceful mantra with my hand over my heart. I wish peace for myself, for my friends, for those I care about, for those I don’t know on this trip and for those others out there who I neither know nor will meet.
Can I be OK with my heart feeling wounded? Can I sit still in this moment. This one too …. and the next and the next. 12 hours of rail trip. Say it again. Be it.