Nature Can Transform You

Picture Courtesy: Aditya Saini

Every now and then one needs to take a retreat into nature… One needs to enter into a place untouched by commercialization and the comforts of urban life…

These nature retreats are often difficult to access…but breathtaking and beautiful once you get there. When you reach such sites, all you want to do is immerse in their beauty and bask in their strength.

I was lucky to be in one such destination recently — Leh, in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, situated in the north of India.

As we drove up the Himalayan range, touching 18,000+ feet above sea level, the roads became rougher, the air more rarefied, but the views more spectacular.

Yes, it takes discomfort to touch nature’s many wonders…but, more importantly, it takes will and courage to go to the top, and witness its spectacular views.

Nature is harsh and raw, but nature is real and beautiful… To appreciate it you have to become one with it… You have to let go of your small petty human mind, body and ego — fraught with limitations — and set yourself free to experience its dynamism.

Nature teaches you many things, its vast and expansive, its detailed and diverse… Every bend has a new stream, new mountain, new tree, new animal… To appreciate it all, your body has to be fit and adaptive, your eyes have to be open and aware, your soul has to be accepting and inclusive…

Just like you are a part of nature, nature is a part of you too. So you have to hold it with care…nourish it, protect it, and dare not pollute it with your thoughts, words and deeds.

Instead, surrender to nature and its magical ways, and gain strength from its completeness. Nature rarely looks to man for its sustenance, it’s man who looks to nature for sustenance… What would we be without clear water and fresh air, fertile earth, and plentiful fruit?

Nature is a giver, man is a taker… And when you are touched by nature’s benevolence, enveloped in its warm embrace, all you want to do is be grateful to the universe for creating it, and creating you as a witness to this magnificent creation.

As we drove through panoramic spaces, where all we could see were mountains, blue skies, and the occasional streams, I couldn’t help but draw strength from nature…

As the mountains stood tall and firm, they also showed signs of movement — the occasional landslide made you aware of the dynamism inherent in its rock-hard stance…

Like everything else in this world, nature is also replete with dualities — It’s static and firm, yet fluid and alive… it protects and nurtures, but also destroys and devours… It has both conflict and calm, it’s both awe-inspiring and intimidating.

For me, nature has always been one of the most calming influences… I simply surrender to what it has to offer, and even what it has to take…

If it takes more of my courage, I’m willing to give it, because I know I will only grow from the experience… And if it gives me more calm, I only come back a more peaceful person — ready once again to deal with the vagaries of life.

I haven’t written a blog for a long time, maybe it was the effect of the mountains…they left me speechless, and at times breathless. I felt whatever I would say would not do justice to what I felt…

Sometimes life moments are ineffable, and its better to leave them that way…as the experience of them is enough.

Nature too has no language. But it expresses volumes and tells stories like no other… To truly enjoy nature’s teachings, you have to learn how to co-exist with it, immerse yourself in its greatness, and be willing to surrender to it…you will come back feeling a calm and strength you haven’t felt before.

There are moments that demand no expression, but expressing even that sentiment helps us understand those moments better.
I believe any form of expression is good expression, it brings us closer to ourselves and to those around us.
Which moments in your life have transformed you? What would you like to talk about in this space?
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