It was Sunday, the day I love to sleep late, but the opposite happened. I awoke at an unholy hour, thanks to a racket outside. It was a family of sparrows on my window sill. They were more loquacious than Italians in an argument. I saw the time. It was way earlier than my sweet spot for Sundays. I ought to have groaned but didn’t, for some odd reason.
It must’ve been that I slept well in the night. For why else did this wake-up call from feathered visitors to my window, make me feel benign instead of grumpy? Normally when the alarm from my phone goes off, it always, but always feels mean and clangy … the tinkle-tone nevertheless. You hit snooze again and again with a degree of vengeance. But today, this ‘natural’ alarm made it easy to spring awake. I could have been a daisy rising up to the sun.
So, it’s right, what the sleep deacons say. It’s not about the number of hours, it’s about the quality of sleep. I racked my brains for what ritual I may have followed the previous night to have been gifted this. Did I have chamomile tea? What did I avoid for dinner? And what had I had for dinner? Was it the broccoli or was it the piece of very dark chocolate I snacked on later that did it? (I hope!) Or was it that I blocked the online world two hours before hitting my comforter-padded zone of my bed?
Whatever the magic recipe, I woke up with heightened serotonin. I felt different, zingy and good.
After my morning cuppa, the usual tasks of everyday, of every single day (Sunday notwithstanding), of every single home got underway. My segments are water tight. There is a flurry of domestic morning activity that happens, mostly in a set pattern. Husbands and children of the world don’t usually realize or cognize this, as to them the house always looks the same. What they miss is, what it takes to make the house always look the same.
But today, my tasks got cleared early. I found there was almost an hour with nothing specific to do. This was strange and lovely. Perched on my sofa in the drawing room after hot-buttered toast and tea, I literally had nothing to do. (My mobile phone was charging far away in another room. Thank God that mobiles drain out and need to be charged every now and then).
I reflected on this. Mmmm. There was a band of time stretching out before me quite like a cat in the sun. No hurry, no scurry. The open windows with the ledge arrayed with densely-leafed green plants, and flowering pots, freshly watered, looked, well, happy. The sunlight made florescent jabs on the leaves. Seven sparrows (I counted them) gambolled around in the verdure.
I cadged it! Picking up a cushion from the sofa I plonked it on a square of sunlight that fell on one spot on the carpet. Placing myself on the cushion I folded my knees, hugged them, and bending my head shut my eyes in langour. With my eyes gently closed and sun pouring on me it could have been any beach anywhere in the world. Within seconds and without effort, I slipped into that ‘state of being’ which I often, rightly or wrongly, feel is the pinnacle state.
Occasionally, with slitty half-opened eyes I gazed at the bougainvillea and the patches of blue sky visible through the maze of branches. It was zen, come upon me unannounced. I realised then, that meditation is not a lotus posture or laborious control of thought…it is just a state of being, an ease, a flow, which requires nothing to happen for the completion of the moment – it is a perfect ‘now moment’ full in itself and without any expectation of any further occurrence or happening.
The sun, of course, played an important part in my scenario. Being the source of light and warmth the sun’s therapeutic powers are extraordinary. Have you seen sun-bathers on deck chairs on a beach, line upon line lying in motionless bliss?
Indian wisdom recognizes this all-vital truth about the sun, and it’s extraordinary life giving properties. Gayatri mantra is the ‘mantra of mantras’, that extols the glory and effulgence of the sun. This mantra has evinced a lot of interest globally too for its mystic powers.
I ruminated on this even as the benevolent sun bathed me. And for the first time understood the angst of my friends in London who rued the misery of British weather. Whenever I go to England I enjoy the cold weather as it’s a great change from the tropical climate of India. And I don’t particularly miss seeing the sun there! But I realized it is only because I’m on vacation and my stay short. To have to not see the sun day in day out for days would be, well, plain miserable.
I lifted my head. The sun had shifted. So I too had to shift my limbs. I got up and checked the time. Wow I had done nothing for over half an hour! Luckily, my mobile phone hadn’t intruded. Even the landline and doorbell obliged. And the best was, my mind obliged. It bowed to my wishes to luxuriate in Sunday ‘nothingness’ for a while.
I felt like a master. Small victory but a sure and sweet one.