“Nobody tells you when you’re young that life keeps going. It keeps going, whether you approve of the progression or not. And, eventually, you find yourself wondering, ‘How did I end up here?’” says Anne Elliot of the Netflix movie Persuasion (2022). Yes, sometimes we do reach a point in the journey of life where we don’t want to be, but that is where the journey has taken us.
But no matter how many repulsive bends we pass through in life, in my view, each one has, somewhere, a little packet of joy sitting in a corner, if only we do not fail to notice that. Even the darkest days of our lives would have bright as stars moments. We need to use these little moments of peace in our lives as our strength against the daily challenges of life. We just need to find those things that give us peace in times of crisis.
As Wordsworth says, “find the extraordinary in the ordinary, or the uncommon in the common.” I, being a poet and introspective, found that extraordinary in the path I mostly take on my way back home, and in that extraordinary I found my solace. I travel on this particular road very often, but my few recent encounters with it gave me a perspective, a vista. It is usually free of people and traffic. A jet-colored, silent residential road with houses and apartments on either side. Silently making us contemplate all those who must have walked on it and all the times and seasons that it must have witnessed. It is a straight path before turning right. Everything here, along with the road, seems to be a definition of peace.
As I go ahead, I pass a few houses lined along one side of the road, like a line of school kids standing, all facing me. On the left, mossy green apartments give way to more duplexes until I reach a beautiful mosque, recently refurbished and distempered. Its cream-tinted boundary wall has intricate jalis fixed within it. Also, the copious use of lights in the mosque and at the entrance makes it glow lustrously in the dark of the night. It gives such a satisfying outlook while passing, just like the neon and luminescent Radiator Springs on Route 66 towards the end of the Cars (2006) movie.
I am using my sense of sight and describing skills for the first time outside of poetry. I hope, in prose too, you will appreciate it! After the mosque, a long, red and white-colored boundary wall commences, which holds nature’s army— a skyline of branching trees. One day, I was passing by at sunset time and happened to look to my left— peeking from behind the black imprints of soaring trees, an orange sky was spreading everywhere, greeting me. Wow! I had never seen this before. I imagined the boundary would recede and I would enter a wide, open patch of countryside with the bunch of trees rising afar— a black speck on an amber horizon. Actually, I often travel to places in my imagination through books, movies, Youtube videos, and Instagram posts. It is the most refreshing experience if you are not an itinerant.
At night, this road has similar vibes. As I drift forward on this black concrete river, the company of the cool breeze, the white smiling moon, and the quiet aura of the place make me forget the troubles with which I had come here, and a feeling of closure comes to me for a while. Nature gives you a much-needed distraction sometimes.
One more thing that I love about this path is that there is a house towards the end of it, which gives me a nice, old cottage feel. With a red boundary and a blue gate, the house faces a charming square garden bound by a cute white wooden fence. The fence and the garden are what I am most fond of. At night, there are globes of light on both the pillars holding the blue entrance gate. Needless to say, in accordance with the tradition of the road, this house houses tranquility too!
I wish I could be the one playing badminton with my brother in that garden or enjoying snacks with my friends in the late afternoons on one of the benches placed there. Although I have never seen anyone moving about this house, it is inhabited, I guess. But still, I am in love with this place.
So, my encounter with this packet of joy (in the form of a road) came when I was also standing at a difficult bend in my life. But this is just one instance. Every day, there is a breezy moment in our lives that gets us through the day. So what is your moment of spur that makes you swallow the pill of a stressful day and makes you feel like life is alright after all? What is the thing that brings a smile to your face?