Tracing Wilderness

"Look deep in nature and you will understand everything better" -Albert Einstein.

In my life, quotes like these have been hard to come by. This is because we live in a world that lives in the future. A world that is never content and ever striving to make progress and achieve said success. A world that is moving, evolving and transforming at the pace of a beating heart.

I loved my life but I never really understood the point of it until one day when I felt devoid of the reasons to keep going and pursuing my dreams. That day, my life turned around.

It was a sunny summer evening. Warm sunlight was trickling from the small, square overhead vents. I was washing the dishes for the seventh time this week. Cool water was running from the faucet. I was reminded of the clear springs and streams that my father took me to when I was younger. It had surely been a while since I thought of the sound of the river and the warmth of the shimmering rays of the sun.

Father and I were close like that but we also drifted apart in many ways as I grew older. It seemed to me like both of us had ample time on our hands at first but with passing time, I began living a life of my own, while my father toiled harder to help me afford that life.

I thought of our trek to Brahmatal. The memories I had made in the lap of nature were invaluable. I still remember our first day at Lohajung. I was terrified by the greatness of the Himalayas. It never occurred to me that our planet could support structures that tall.

The trekking trail was green and carpeted on each side by spongy grass. Early in the morning the blades of grass glistened with morning dew. I recollect touching the cool droplets to my face on mornings when we had to start off early- even before the sun had risen. The trail however, was primarily formed from alluvial soil and parent rocks.

My father encouraged me to tread the complete length of the trek right upto the summit and back and so I did. The satisfaction of climbing a summit is unmatchable. The feeling of tracking my progression every step with every twist in the path was truly satisfying. The cool wind brushed against my face and made my hair fly. I couldn't help but smile only because it slightly tickled and felt like a sweet kiss. In all honesty, nature amazes me for how something can be imperfect and yet so perfect. Trees, for instance, come in all shapes and sizes and yet every one of them is nothing but beautiful.

As we climbed higher, the abundant greenery became scarce. The trail changed and the views changed. Now the path we walked on was flanked by the majestic mountain on one side and a valley on another. The views were breathtaking. A valley before me only reminded me of how insignificant I was with respect to the universe and that this isn’t our planet, we are a mere species to this ever so wondrous blue dot in the infinite universe. Nature also reminds me that our time on earth is not inherited from our ancestors, but it is merely borrowed from our children and therefore we must value it.

When we reached the summit, we celebrated with a cup of tea that we brought with us from the base camp. Later, I found myself lying in the snow with my father. We made snow angels. I remember how he looked at me with pride and joy. His smile said it all. He knew I was going to grow up and make him proud. He was honored actually, for he had successfully instilled in me his love for the trail.

Climbing the summit gave me a sense of oneness and self acceptance. Sitting there, alone in the snow devoid of any human connection revealed to me who I really am and who I want to become. Nature made me fall in love with every part of myself. It helped me appreciate my beauty and embrace my imperfections. To me nature is a teacher, a friend and most importantly a caregiver for it supports my life.

So today, as a young adult, trekking is a part of me. The delicious sunlight, the refreshing rain and the exhilarating snow only fill my heart with warmth and longingness.

Author: Vedant Vaswani

Editor: Aastha More

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