Verdant haven

It was a bright, sunny morning. And as was wont, and expected, even, the power went off. Now that I couldn’t switch on the television, or the computer, there seemed to be absolutely nothing to do. I didn’t think I could get any work done without my computer, and I certainly couldn’t stop myself from getting bored. I’m an avid reader and I could’ve read some of the novels I’d queued up… but I didn’t feel particularly inclined towards that either. That’s when my mother suggested taking a break, and spending time on the terrace until the power came back on. I assented, grabbed a chair and headed upstairs.
Bangalore is a city of concrete and fast rising buildings, zooming cars and deadlocked traffic. The city is always on the move, always teeming with life.

Nevertheless, I expected some solitude on the terrace of my home. And once there, I was stunned. The emerald foliage of the trees was drenched in golden sunlight, and their leaves rustled and sang in the gentle breeze. I heard the melodies of strange birds I couldn’t name, and I saw them soar above in the sprawling blue sky. Crickets chirped like chiming bells, and even the distant echoing barks of a dog seemed ethereal. Almost unreal. It was dreamlike and at the same time majestic; heaven’s gentle touch was subtle yet omnipresent.

The balmy weather was rejuvenating, and the skittering butterflies in colours brighter than a rainbow appeared to me real living jewels. The occasional roar of an aircraft seemed far, far away… belonging to a world far removed. The honks of cars were muted, faded… like soft echoes from a mountaintop.

Studies have shown that natural surroundings reduce stress, besides boosting body immunity, perhaps concrete proof of what we’ve always known instinctively. And this is easy to believe. Swaying trees laden with iridescent flowers in a park, the bubbling waters of a shining brook, and the quiet chirrup of birds and a cricket… combined, the sounds of tranquil bliss. Even at home, where there is no gurgling brook nearby, the very presence of trees was rejuvenating.

I felt my boredom melt away… I found myself appreciating, enjoying, nature. Here, it seemed, was a world of beauteous plenty. Of serenity.

And by the time the power came back on, I was reluctant to draw myself away. To quote Jane Austen: “To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.”

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