After the rendezvous with Redwood trees in the Redwood National Park, California – the tallest trees on the earth, I feel I am still in a trance and am finding it difficult to return to my daily routine and digital devices. The solemn scene of majestic redwood trees and the pale sunbeams dulled by the fog is so pristine that rampant stimulations of materialistic modern life feel obnoxious.
Category: North America (Page 2 of 6)
It is hard to wrap my journey from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon in just one sentence. My first visit from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon West was a few years back on a tour bus. My second trip which I took recently from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim was by car. Two different journeys and different experiences. Today I will reflect on my recent journey during which I stopped at several points along the way, some known and some unknown and in turn experienced this trip uniquely.
The zeitgeist of modern life gives us a quick fix to all our problems in three steps. 1. Set goals. 2. Tie that goal with a number. 3. Strive to reach that number. Think about your health (calories, blood sugar level, IQ..to name a few), financial and social worth, screen time per day, quality hours with family, steps taken per day…just name it! Such a fix can produce feelings of apathy and powerlessness for sure. I am also not immune to this system. But I found an escape from this tiring number game. I escape to nature. I escape to mountains, oceans, forests, gardens, deserts, and sometimes to the middle of nowhere, far away from cities. And if it is springtime then refreshing green leaves and wildflowers everywhere beckon not just me but my pen and my diary. This year I am welcoming spring, with California wildflowers blooming in every corner.
To muse, to creep, to halt at will, to gaze
~ William Wordsworth
“Train” – is a magic word for me. On innumerable occasions, it has covered distances between me and my dreams. It has taken me to the nearest locations to see the magnanimous Himalayas, the Thar desert, surrounded by sand, space and silence, the waves in the oceans, many countries in Europe and recently the wilderness in the USA. Beautiful steam train rides near San Francisco gifted me exhilarating delights when I saw the curls of silent white steam winding its way through the leaves of the redwood trees.
Before driving through the Blue Ridge Parkway in reality in my 30s, I drove through it in my dreams during my twenties! My dream was to drive miles after miles amidst unbound beauty and was not limited to any particular country. In reality, when I drove through the Blue Ridge Parkway, I felt exhilarated not because it is one of the most scenic routes in the USA but because the reality connected me to my long cradled dream. Eventually on the way, on many occasions, my thirty-something me met my twenty-something me.
The rain was pouring incessantly on the sweet Saturday evening while I was inside the beautiful auditorium of the San Francisco Ballet and was reveling in the flow of music, dance, and drama. The on-stage ballet was a welcome break from the constant presence of screens in our lives. Dancers, musicians, background stage sceneries and a spirited audience transported me to a world of chivalry; a world of adventure; the world of Don Quixote. The refreshing cadence of this ballet rekindled a memory and my mind traversed back to Madrid’s Plaza de Espana, which I visited a couple of years ago in Spain. The plaza features a stone sculpture of the author
Miguel de Cervantes and two famous characters of his novel – Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.
San Francisco – the hilly city in northern California which is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay has a unique charm. If you ever visit San Francisco, don’t just see its best views but also feel the vibes that this city has to offer. Let the sweet breeze intoxicate you, let the sounds of sea waves relax you, let the aroma from the restaurants around the Fisherman’s Wharf greet you and let the views ingrain some indelible moments in your mind. Recently, I savored and saw the best views of San Francisco riding an E-tuk from Dylan’s Tours. I managed to pop inside all the postcard-perfect and famous frames in San Francisco in one day.
The Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, California, gifted me a lyrical evening where the main protagonist was light. I got to experience a unique blend of imagination and craft, art and science, dark and light, silence and music, and fantasy and reality. British artist Bruce Munro took me away to an unknown world where darkness was a stage and light, a performer!
His creation, beautifully named Stories in Light, is an art installation that blooms at night. It gifts us wonder, beauty and joy – the intangible yet fundamental components of our life and existence.