On Flowing Through Life

by Rhea Rego

This Too Shall Pass.

Shashi’s favourite quote, beautifully and lovingly painted at the entrance of the Mudhouse kitchen by Anjali from Bangalore perfectly summarizes the transience of life. 

A message of solace to the brokenhearted but also a reminder to savour the present moment, while remaining detached.

 

Everything flows, the good and the bad. Some might ask, what’s the point of it all if nothing lasts? Why fall in love, make a new friend, or start something new? Ah, dear friend, the beauty of life lies in its impermanence. Just because something doesn’t last forever, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t bask in the wonder of that moment. Our life is as beautiful and fragile as the wings of the butterflies that flitter from plant to plant, flower to flower. 

As I run my hands through her waters, the ripples of the holy Narmada whisper to me: Everything flows. We cannot step twice into the same river. When you step into the river for the second time, neither you nor the river is the same. 

Every moment of every day, we are all changing. The same goes for the farm. Every second of every day, it is changing. Seasons come and go and with it, an array of different fruits, crops, and vegetables. Every day, the sun rises and sets. This is a fact of life. Yet each time, every sunrise and sunset is so unique: sometimes an explosion of colour in the sky, scattered by clouds, sometimes a quiet descent behind the mountains. Even our beloved ancient moon goes through the same old phases, yet each time it waxes and wanes, it ages. 

The farm has lovingly welcomed hundreds of visitors over the years. Some stay for a few days, some for a few months. Eventually, we all have to leave. Even if we do return after a while, neither we nor the farm are the same. Regardless, we always leave a part of us behind. A quote at the entrance of the Mudhouse, a painted logo on the gate, books donated to the Learning Centre, bamboo saplings lovingly planted, weeds carefully removed. These are only tangible contributions. The intangible ones are often the most memorable. Food lovingly prepared, songs sung, hugs exchanged, hands held, laughter spread, tears wiped, comfort given, philosophies discussed, memories made, lessons learnt: every single person who visits the farm leaves a mark in some way, and the farm leaves a mark on them.  

A farm favourite melody by Kabir goes:

क्या लेके आया जगत में,

क्या लेके जायेगा,

दो दिन की जिन्दगी है,

दो दिन का मेला

What have you brought into this world, and what can you take away from this world?

Life is, after all, just a two-day fair.

Why do we take ourselves so seriously? We come here with nothing, we go back with nothing. Might as well enjoy the carnival of life.

Ever so often, the winds of injustice ruffle our feathers and we are determined to change the world. We carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, as though it is up to us to save it. It is for people like us that Aldous Huxley writes:

“It’s dark because you’re trying too hard. Dark because you want it to be light. Lightly, child, lightly. You’ve got to learn to do everything lightly. Think lightly, act lightly, feel lightly. Yes, feel lightly, even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. So throw away all your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly, my darling. On tiptoes; and no luggage, not even a sponge bag. Completely unencumbered.”


 This life can be taken away from us in the blink of an eye. So we must tread lightly and love deeply. Remain detached, for everything changes, yet enjoy the beauty of NOW. And always, always remember, for both the good and the bad, This Too Shall Pass.

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