My heart almost ripped out hearing the strange silence around me while I walked on the stony path leading to my home. The patch of green before me lay still, lifeless and morose. I turned to look around at the park where kids play. It was weary and lifeless and missed little feet which truly belonged there.
I had stepped out of home for essentials after about a month since the lockdown due to Covid-19 and almost shuddered at the eerie silence around me.
Aren’t these strange times we are living in that one submicroscopic pathogen has paralyzed the entire globe? It is definitely a scary and scarring time for all of us across borders and oceans, and for once, we feel the same feelings, we fear the same fear-one that defies culture, customs, space, or time.
Our days are lost in dismayed quietude and our nights are held tight hoping for a brighter day. My country, India, is in a complete lockdown right now. Where I live, the most technologically advanced city of the country, Bangalore, we have seen a complete shutdown of services and life since last month. Our schools, colleges, offices have been gnawingly devoid of life since March. On the contrary, the walls of our homes have suddenly revived with a fresh new breath. We are all locked at home waiting for this maelstrom to end.
I walked along the stony path toward the only open store in my vicinity while my mind continued to be a nexus of palpable unrest. Yes, our mind always questions, and yet the heart always tries to find hope. It tries to look for those tiny signs that tell us that there’s hope-hope for a better day, hope for life, hope for a fresh new breath.
Viola! Something made me stop on my way; a tiny sliver of green and purple on a stony path. The tiniest flower ever bloomed on a bed of barren stones. On the surface, it seemed like a lost cause, birthing and living between stones. But those tiny purple petals opened up undaunted with hopes of a new life. One flower stood upright basking in its purple glory, while another one waited for its time to bloom. They would die soon, but the only five days of their spartan survival would be full of pride and glory. They clearly rejoiced their existence. The plant nested between rounded stones; its dangerous life audacious in its own being. Carefree. Nonchalant. Bold.
I had seen tiny flowers like this one many times before, but that day it gave me a new perspective. Could we be so fearlessly hopeful?
It is fascinating to see how life finds its own way. Plants grow in the most unexpected of spots, in crevices, cracks, at the joints of concrete steps and in the midst of stones. I looked around, and there was much hope to extract. I found another baby plant emerging from under a concrete step. Finding life in the most unexpected places is one that keeps hope alive. Yes, nature provides immense hope and embalms hearts in the most unexpected moments.
A line of frangipani trees stood straight right before me. All I could see was a wave of unmistakable yellow and pink. Strangely, the trees had no leaves. No leaves at all. Unabashedly bare. Yet they were fiercely full in bloom. The flowers, some of them golden yellow, and some pink at the core, swayed gently in the soft breeze undeterred by the lack of verdant cover. I stopped to take a look at them. Yes, they were perfectly happy! They bloomed with love, pregnant with hopes of a brighter spring to come.
Nothing smells more of hope than fresh life, a new life — a new born baby, a new kitten, a baby plant or even blooming flowers in a bare tree. Can you think of something more optimistic than a bunch of flowers in a completely bare tree?
Hope is what keeps us moving. It is the elixir of existence, the balm for the hurt, the comfort for the disturbed. Hope is the horizon where the sun sets one evening, but it is the same horizon that births a new sun the next day.
Once I bought my essentials, I ran back home to my little potato plant. I call her Gabriela fondly. My husband has been watering her the last few days, so I didn’t get a chance to meet her. I ran to my balcony and found her happy and grown up. Shining bright, hopeful. Yes, we will see a brighter day soon, free from the shackles of a pandemic.