Posted on September 1, 2020
It’s already the fourth week of my 12-week Walk challenge with my friend Rai. She is an ex-military person, indeed fit as a fiddle. And me, 🤭 an amateur who only like to stroll around. In the beginning (sometimes even now), I found it challenging to keep up with her pace, as for me I feel like I am climbing the Everest. I feel the pain, I gasp for air. Indeed I struggle. But when I look at her, she walks so unrestrainedly, which makes me feel ashamed of myself.
As we walk through the woods and pass by the narrow path with berries on both sides, it imparts an incredible feeling of being enveloped by nature. We have to be extremely careful as we cross the slippery area, covered in mud. Otherwise, you never know where you will land. (It reminds me of the roads after monsoon rains in my hometown, in India). Then, there are a few more steps ahead to proceed to the country road that leads us to the tree, which is our reference point where we usually stop, either for a little workout or a break.
Today, our friend Cara, and her lovely daughter Lily joined us, in our route mentioned above in the Woods.
Lily just enjoyed racing with Rai and hopping around with short resting periods. Me and Cara, followed them with our lazy pace.
We could hear Rai yelling at us ruthlessly,
”Come on, you two.”
Followed by Lily,
And Cara replied,
”I can’t run, unless my life is in danger.”
As I heard Cara’s words, with a giggle I thought to myself,
” Same here”
Even though we didn’t make it up to our usual pace, we did our miles, enjoyed the warmth of the morning sun rays, and the freshness of the air and the positivity that surrounded us, in abundance.
As we returned to the car park, with an uplifted spirit and a refreshed soul, I realised the achy legs, and the muddy trainers, are worth it.
~ Chinchu Gibu
Posted on August 17, 2020
The sound of the running water woke me up.
I don’t know when I dozed off, as I only remember scrolling through WordPress in my phone.
I shook my head to come back to senses, and only then I thought,
”Oops! Did I leave the tap running?”
I ran to the bathroom only to see the open window and the pelting rain. Finally, we got some showers. I felt the chill in the air. My throat was dry, and I walked to the kitchen to pour myself a drink. As I opened the cupboard to take a glass, this packet I kept on the side fell to the worktop—herbal coffee powder, which was given to me by a friend. The light bulb went on in my brain,
”Black coffee, that’s what I want.”
The fragrance of coffee beans in the boiling water took me home, to my father. He likes black coffee, and he will have it whenever he is offered one. It is indeed a nostalgic feeling of being at home to have a black coffee and lentil fritters on a rainy afternoon. However, the last couple of weeks, there was heavy rains in my hometown, my parents and many other people were affected. Even though settled now, it made me worry then. At the same time, I honestly wished to have some rain here in the UK, as the heatwave hit us.
When I see the contradictions around me, I do wonder why the world is so imbalanced.
Even though I understand that God’s plans are beyond human understanding, the silly being in me looked above and sighed in heart,
”When I come up there, you need to tell me why.”
Posted on August 13, 2020
The madness around is enough to subdue our conscience and goodwill.
Initially, because of this troublesome times, you don’t know where you stand.
Some days, I happily think,
“Good, it’s over.”
And other days, It puzzles me,
“What’s going on, have you any clue?”
I felt the hindrance, in my thought process, as though it is masked by an unknown fear, a fear of uncertainty. These days, when I wear the mask all day at work and outside (If ever I dare to go) in this heat, I realise how much I miss my life before February this year.
I do wonder,
“Is there an escape from this, or is this lifestyle the new norm?”
The more I have these queries revolving in my mind, the more I worry.
To maintain my sanity, it became imminent for me, to find my way to move on. With this thought, I found a hiding place in the woods, where I could go and sit down, away from all the hustles and bustles, with me and myself.
The old wooden bench in there is a comfort station, where I stop to unload my burdened heart.As I remain seated, my eyes capture the beauty and divine positivity that envelop me.
I look above, and remind myself,
“See, He is watching over you.”
With this reassurance, my feet made a move, I took my steps ahead, with a soul filled with harmony.
“For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Psalms 91:11-12
Posted on August 4, 2020
Colours are beautiful. Some colours are warm while others are cool. This distinct attribute makes the creation unique and whole. I wonder sometimes, what if there were no colours in life? It would have been so boring, wouldn’t it? I admire people who love to play with colours and come up with amazing pieces of art. I thought to myself,
”Shall I give it a go as well?”
~ Chinchu Gibu
Posted on July 25, 2020
It was a warm, bright Sunday afternoon, I pushed my sleepy being to take a stroll in the park nearby. My other half was at work, so I had to do it all myself. Of course, persuading me to do something was the hardest thing in my life. As I took my steps lazily to satisfy my motivated self, my eyes paused at the elderly couple sitting in the bench around the quiet corner. The contentment and passion in their face emitted a gentle aura which could attract anyone’s attention towards them. Before I could retract my gaze, two pairs of kind eyes looked at me.
” Good afternoon, young lady.” The old man greeted me and winked at the old woman beside with a smile. Though I felt embarrassed being caught red-handed for staring at them, I immediately hid my expression and responded wholeheartedly. And took long strides as if I couldn’t wait to escape. I reached the other corner and sat on the wooden bench, to rest my poor feet.
The scene I came across a while ago conquered my mind.
” How romantic will it be to hold hands with your loved one in the dusk of your life?”
The thought itself imparted a warmth in my heart. Love, in all probability, is the most described feeling we experience in our life, be it spoken or written. Everything we see, we feel, we come across, and we do in life is somehow related to love, either due to too much love or lack of the same.
Sometimes we fail to recognise the love we generously receive in life. Probably because our perspective is different.
So what exactly is love to me?
Just the other day, my hubby and I went for an evening walk. He received a phone call, and he had to attend it. I was clearly annoyed because it was ‘our’ time.
” He is not bothered, is he?”
I sighed and complained in the heart as I took a step to cross the road, and suddenly his hand held mine, pulling me back. I looked up at my husband, and he pointed his finger to the end of the way, there was a car turning in to the road we were walking by. I was touched for the fact that even though he was talking to someone else, he was still attentive to me. His simple action made my anger disappear and made my evening.
Symbolically, Love to me is, being able to walk with him with one of his arms holding me tight, while the other holding on to the umbrella on an overpouring stormy night.
So what does that mean?
Holding in his embrace implies his care and attention that solely belongs to me. Holding the umbrella means keeping close rest all essential things and people in his life, and the overpouring stormy night symbolises the trials and temptations we have to face together in our life.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1Corinthiams 13:13)
Posted on July 23, 2020
“When will I be home again?” I sighed.
Home is a thought that conquers my dreams every morning since I cancelled my holidays in May due to the pandemic.
The question of uncertainty burdened me as I remembered the place, my heart longs to escape to every day. The feeling of home starts in there, where my soul lies.
My childhood home, where my tiny feet took the first steps of the journey towards my destiny, a beautiful nest gathered with love in Thiruvalla-a town in the Indian state of Kerala.
It’s the place that takes me back to my childhood. When I think about it I’m filled with a sense of warmth that imparts in me such memories.
The place where I saw the abundance of love that belongs in the universe wrapped in two human figures: my grandparents, (who I fondly called my Appachen and my Ammachi). The most carefree days of my life are connected to this place. Evenings filled with the enchanting voice of my Ammachi reciting hymns, and bedtime stories of Jonah, Noah and Elijah, that were repeated almost every night.
But still I listened to each retelling as though hearing them for the first time.
The beauty of the home not only lies on the people who live there. But every little thing that surrounds it, that binds it and makes it whole. Each brick on the walls of my old home has a story to narrate. Every piece of wood and metal in there watched me grow. Every flower, the bushes, and the trees, have seen imprints of my hands. And the memory of my footprints still lies embedded there in the soil.
The fragrance from the bloomed jasmine flowers filled my dawns, while the beauty of the red hibiscus plant was intensified, in the mid-day sunshine. The taste of the ripe pomelos, passionfruit and mulberries charged my tastebuds in the lazy afternoons, as we sat together sharing the delicacies of nature. The plants my Appachen planted made the garden colourful and full of character.
Even though my grandparents had departed, and things looked different as I visited my home last year, I realised what vibrant, precious memories they had left behind for my heart to cherish. Today a glimpse of any of the images mentioned above, or the jingles of hymns similar to those I heard as a child takes me straight back to that time. Every scene of those beautiful days is engraved in my soul, with no fading to its glory. I look back now to see that every bit of me is a piece of that jigsaw, carefully joined in the right place by their utmost love and care, the same way they built their ideal home.
My Appachen and Ammachi.
~ Chinchu Gibu
(N.B. Rewritten and modified a previous blog as part of an assignment about a place that has significance importance to me and how my last visit made me feel.)
Posted on July 10, 2020
“Some journeys are worth it.”
Even after days and months pass by; still, the vibe of positivity and spirit remains in the heart. It was in last July, as I scroll down my Facebook page, ‘memories on this day’ pop up on the screen.
“Surprisingly, a year has passed in a flash.”
I thought as I browse through the pictures, and lean back, to relax in the couch. I slowly close my eyes to reminisce those lovely days, spent in Dresden, Germany.
Ryan Air Carrier FR2814 ascended towards the sky, from the runway of London Stanstead Airport. As the flight was taking off, I felt the pressure in my ears. But the further it sloped upwards, I started feeling lighter and lighter. More volatile like a feather, surrounded by clouds. Suddenly my gaze stuck at the vision below. The buildings and houses resembled to carefully arranged matchboxes. Whiteness enveloped the plane as it rose high up, as though engulfed by the clouds. I sensed the feeling of soaring in the sky. And I looked down to the ground, proud like an eagle, even though it was just a blur.
*Cologne Bonn Airport*
My tummy growled, reminding me of hunger, and we still had a few hours in transit. We just looked around in search of a place to satisfy our nature’s call. Of course, at this time, my eyes moved faster than my legs, as I located the Burger King at the other end. As I reached in front of the queue, I quickly placed our order,
“Can we have two Chicken Royale burgers with chips, and two orange juice please?”
The lady who stood beside me, stared at me as though am from a different planet. I felt a bit embarrassed, and thought to myself,
“Did I say something wrong?”
I knew I was polite, and I looked at my other half, and asked him,
“Look at my face, is there anything obvious?”
He was perplexed hearing my question and didn’t forget to laugh at me. I am sure at times he prefers not to reply to my silly questions. Either way, I was at a loss myself. Then I listened to another person placing the order, and they were all speaking German (It’s not that I understand the language, but I assumed that like it, as the majority of them spoke similarly.). I realised that I left the English territory, and now I understood why I received a funny look earlier. I could only Thank God, for the name of the burgers were the same, and at least we won’t be starved.
I stood patiently in the queue, waiting for the clearance to enter. The official asked me the purpose of the visit and how long we going to stay. As I said it, he repeated, as though questioning me,
” Just four days?”
I told as I took my return travel itinerary, and gave it to him, as I could see suspicion in his eyes. After checking the documents, he wished us a pleasant trip as he stamped our passports.
We walked to the taxi rank, and we only said,
He took us there, and he was indeed a friendly person. I realised we only need a few words and gestures to communicate. Even though language makes it more comfortable, you don’t necessarily need to know the same for essential communication. He also explained the routes to the various restaurants near our stay, in the few words he knew, and we understood it all. It was amazing.
The purpose of the travel was to see my brother as he was in the same place as part of a business visit. We made ourselves comfortable and eagerly waited for him to finish his matters. It was after a couple of years we met and enjoyed the time with each other. Life truly amazes us with unexpected experiences like this. Who else would have thought that I would be meeting my sibling in Germany, I don’t think I ever had this thought in my wildest dreams.
When my brother busied himself with his work-related affairs, we decided to explore the beautiful city of Dresden. As we had free travel cards for the days of our stay, we just took trams from one place to another, sightseeing buses, and even strolled randomly around the place. It’s just fun when you don’t know where to go, and what to do, especially when you don’t have to reach anywhere at a particular time. Sometimes we need to have such carefree journeys in life, where you have no deadlines to meet and timelines to keep, to explore ourselves in us.
Though I didn’t do much exciting in Dresden, other than meeting my brother and spending some meaningful time there, it was indeed worth a trip. A journey that imparted in me a perception of bliss, a feeling of getting lost in an unknown crowd, in a different country, worrying less about life.
~ Chinchu Gibu
PC: Good Stock Photos (Plane Wing Photo)
Posted on July 3, 2020
” Wow! It’s indeed, heaven.”
My words echoed in the woods as I spread out my arms, to embrace the beauty that surrounded me. My nostrils were filled with the fresh fragrance of nature, as I inhaled a large volume of air to fill in the depths of my alveolar sacs. A feeling of contentment invaded all my five senses.
While strolling through the narrow path between the trees, each step of mine imparted a perception of conquering the most dazzling scene of greenery and life encompassing me. My inner-being has been yearning for such a picturesque composition for a long time to wake up my brain cells to trigger the lost inspiration.
We galloped uphill in excitement, after a little while I started gasping for air.
” Hang on a moment”.
I paused, took a deep breath, and couldn’t help but ask,
” Why are we walking to the hill-I thought we meant to be going to the lakes?”
The sound of laughter that followed stupefied me. Of course, in the bustle of being out after a long while, none of us looked for the route but tracked the path that was just ahead. My other half halted for a moment and said,
“I think it is that little track we just came across a few seconds ago on the right-hand side.”
Elsa and I lingered reluctantly to take any further steps.
“Shall we wait here, and let them two find the right trail, and we follow.”
Elsa’s husband was busy capturing the eye-catching elegance of nature in his new lenses. As they proceeded ahead to the new route, we stayed behind quietly watching them waiting for their signal to resume. Since the parking ticket was for two hours, I peeked at the phone to check the time.
“We only got an hour left, we need to hurry up,” I yelled and turned my gaze to the two fellows who already reached a couple of meters ahead. Suddenly, we heard the response,
“Come on, you two, follow us.”
We hurried our footsteps to catch up with their pace, I should admit, the path was a challenge walking through. After a little while, I shifted my gaze from the ground to look forward. My eyes widened with ardent zeal, as I shouted in joy,
The water looked so pure and crystal clear that I could see the lake- bed. I stood in a daze, watching the little ripples forming with the gentle breeze. Didn’t realise how much time I paused there, absorbing nature’s charm to my inner being. A swimmer was practising in the lake. He was trying various strokes and seen checking now and then in the timer and to evaluate his performance. My better-half was astounded by his show and was relishing his skills.
Elsa reminded us of the time, as her hubby was still busy enjoying the scene with his wide-angle lens, making memories. A few snapshots clicked, and my eyes followed the pine cones on the ground. My pride didn’t stop me collect a few of them, as to keep a souvenir, to recall this captivating moment.
As I walked back to the car, my eyes secretly glanced on them three cheerful faces of my lovely people and a sense of blissful satisfaction outpoured in my heart.
~ Chinchu Gibu
P.C. Sumith Varghese 😊