Monday, April 12, 2010

J for Journey

There are few things more spectacular than the rising sun painting the sky in myriad hues. The slight brightening of the sky, the gradual delineation of the horizon, the addition of streaks of colours one by one, the sun slowly peeking out like a shy kid, till in one flash of glory, everything is replaced by the blank canvas of the morning sky.
I witnessed one of those glorious sunrises from an aeroplane in February 2001, when I was travelling to Cochin for a meeting with my favourite client. For a long time, I was filled with wonder, and finally, the physical words tumbled out of my mouth, "How wonderful this is. I am sure I am the luckiest person alive."
The statement was inspired by the glorious sight I had just witnessed, but that was a period when I was feeling truly blessed. I had a job that gave me immense pleasure- one couldn't have asked for a better boss, or better colleagues, my clients all loved me, and I was making a name for myself in the industry and people asked for me by name to be on an engagement. My husband and I had been married three years, and were blissfully content with leading out separate lives together. Most of my friends were pregnant or lactating, but the peer-pressure never got to me- I was too happy with my life to want kids in the picture complicating things. A few months short of my 30th birthday, I did not want anything in life that I did not already have.
Things could not have been better, and the sunrise I had just witnessed only made me articulate what I truly believed.

Three years later, I was on another flight out of Mumbai. A lot had happened in the meantime. I had changed jobs two times, lost my mother-in-law, saw my father's health start going down rapidly after an operation. My husband and I had re-evaluated our priorities in life, and I had got pregnant and given birth to a lovely baby. I was travelling to Bangalore to introduce my twelve week old to his grandparents.
Motherhood had been a challenge. A Type A person, I found it almost impossible to deal with the unpredictability of having a colicky baby in the house. I wished I had been made to pass an exam before being presented with a baby, so I would not make such a hash of motherhood. But overshadowing the Agony of Motherhood had been the Estacy.
Those unexpected smiles, the tiny fingers tightening their grip on your much larger one, the feeling of satisfaction when his curves neatly fitted into your own. Sleep deprived though I was, there were still nights when I used to wake-up and just stare at the Perfection that was my baby. I was looking forward to three weeks with my parents where they could bond with the grandchild they had waited so many years for.
The air-hostess was making the inflight announcements, I put my baby to breast, gave a contented sigh and looked out of the window. The sun was making a gradual descent into the Arabian sea, after painting a Masterpiece on the sky.
Memories stirred. I recalled the last time I had seen a similar display mounted outside my aeroplane window. Unbidden, the words came to my lips, "How wonderful this is. I am sure I am the luckiest person alive."
I had the most beautiful baby in the world. What more could anyone want?

I had journeyed far in those three years. But at the end of the journey, I found I was in the same place as I had been when I had started - at Peace with myself, and wanting nothing more than what I already had. I am still on that journey, and want nothing more than that it continue forever.

Photograph of the sunrise taken without permission from my Mother.


Mason Canyon said...

Very beautiful post and most inspiring. To realize what you have and to be at peace with it says so much about you. We all need to stop and realize what we have and be blessed.

GutsyWriter said...

I love your post. As far as peace within myself, I find the older I get, the closer I get, although living in southern California, you cannot help but being bombarded by people and things that try to take your peace away.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Beautiful post! I felt the exact same way about becoming a mother- totally unqualified and at my wits end. But it was worth it- my daughter is the light of my life!

Momo's Ma said...

very beautiful words and picture. it is such a beautiful sight and i felt so at peace when i saw the sunset on the beach yest.


Very inspiring, everything including life comes round in full circle, I read this with such pleasure, Look forward to "K".


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Sometimes we need those little reminders!

Not enough hours! said...

@ Mason - thank you. And you seem to be a person who is very much at peace with herself.

@ Sonia - there is every reason for us to feel at peace with ourselves, isn't it? Pity that so few people realise it.

@ Stephanie - kids are totally worth anything.

@ Momo's Ma - thank you. Lovely sunsets you get on the beach, don't you? Have you ever been to Aska beach near Malad?

@ Yvonne - thank you. And I am pretty sure my K is going to be very anticlimatic, because I totally ran out of steam and matched something utterly unrelated to the letter.

Not enough hours! said...

@ Diane - you posted while I was still replying! Yes, you do need those moments.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

How wonderful to re-evaluate and find that your life, although changed, is still great!

Dee said...

That is so beautiful. I like the way you compare then to now, and both are exactly what you want.

Trevor Peck said...

What a wonderful and encouraging post - especially while holding a warm mug of coffee - thank you! Praying your journey and contentment will continue forever - they can with faith in Jesus. Thanks again for making me so very thankful for the beautiful family I am blessed to have.

Love in the Truth.

Shannon said...

Thanks for such a beautiful and encouraging reminder that we are all on a journey of some kind in our lives...Blessings sweetie!

Lisa said...

"How wonderful this is. I am sure I am the luckiest person alive." Those words sum it all up. It's about choice and choosing to see the beautiful gifts from God that are all around us.

I was very moved by this post my friend. Thank you.

Wanda said...

Rayna, this a beautiful post. To find contentment in one's life is great gain. Reminds me that I have so much to be thankful.

dipali said...

An utterly moving, beautiful post. Good bless you, dear Rayna.

Raquel Byrnes said...

What a beautiful post. I loved the sentiments and the line about his curves fitting with yours. Thanks for sharing such heartfelt musings.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

What an awesome moment to experience twice!

Ann Elle Altman said...

What a beautiful sun and I'm glad you've had such an experience. I wasn't cut out for motherhood I think but I love the experiences I'm having with it. Great post, as usual.


Galen Kindley--Author said...

A very poignant and thoughtful post. Journey is indeed what we do as humans, and it's how we make that passage that's important...the destination, not so much.

Best, Galen.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Beautiful photo – there’s nothing like nature to remind us of the joy, beauty, and contentment in our lives.

Trudy said...

Oh Rayna! What an absolutely beautiful brought tears to my eyes. How lovely to be able to feel so content and joyful with your life, no matter where you are at in it. Of course, I really cried when you spoke of your new baby, as I am to become a first time mom in just a matter of weeks now!

God's blessings to you and what a splendid photo!

Grammy said...

Rayna, Beautiful! I have seen the sunrise over the North Pole and it was awesome, as well. Our Lord has made a beautiful earth, and how majestic it is!

Not enough hours! said...

@ Debra - it is wonderful when you get that reconfirmation.

@ Dee - thank you

@ Trevor - thank you for the lovely comment. Yes, we are blessed.

@ Shannon - thank you so much

@ Lisa - it is about choosing happiness, isn't it? Once you do, everything falls into place.

@ Wanda - yes, we all have a lot to be thankful for. We are alive, and we have the capability to appreciate happiness, if nothing else.

@ Dipali - thank you

@ Raquel - thank you. And strangely, their contours just merge into yours, even when they grow.

@ Alex - yes, it was.

@ Ann - I never thought I was cut out for motherhood (am not sure even now), but I wouldn't want to not have one moment of these.

@ Galen - so true.

@ Jane - I will be sure to tell my mom that you liked her photograph. Nothing to beat Nature.

@ Trudy - the first pregnancy is magical, but believe me when I tell you- the moment you hold your baby in your arms, you will forget everything else.

@ Ruby - I can't even start to think of how wonderful the sunrise over the North Pole must have been. You must blog about it when you come to N.

Lady Jayne said...

What a wonderful post Rayna! It's always the simplest things that bring the most pleasure sometimes - nursing your child, watching the sunrise. Lovely!


Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Thanks for the inspiring post. I'm so glad I found your blog.

Not enough hours! said...

@ Jayne - thank you. Yes, it is the smallest things that bring most fun.

@ Kathi - thanks for stopping by.

~ Rayna


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