|Image by: Bipasha M|
She comes and sits quietly at her usual perch. Sometimes she caws loudly to let me know that she’s there. But most often, she waits silently. I don’t know how or when our friendship started. But one day I noticed this crow sitting a foot away from me as I kept the food on balcony ledge. She started coming closer and would eat the food as soon as I would keep it. Then came a time when she would wait for me to make balls of cooked rice and place it only for her. Few days ago, she accepted food straight from my hand. She took it very gently to ensure that she didn’t hurt me with her beak. Unlike the bulbul, mynah, and the squirrel family, she doesn’t come every day and that’s okay with me.
I started actively feeding the birds since the lockdown. Initially, I would leave rice grains and forget about it. Slowly, I began noticing the birds that came at different times to either eat the food or take a dip in the water bowl. Now I have a family of mynah, a pair of bulbuls whose little one has flown the nest, some 15 odd crows, and two families of squirrels that I consciously leave food out for. When they allow me near them, I feel accepted and trusted. It’s a feeling that I have never felt before with fellow human beings.
At the end of the year, I can say without an iota of doubt that this has been the most precious gift the year has given me. If the year hadn’t slowed us down, I wouldn’t have known my non-human friends so intimately or seen migratory birds fly right over my terrace or watch an exquisite delicate turquoise damselfly hover over the orange flowers.
I like the slow pace. Of life. Of work. Of my thoughts. And of my body. I don’t feel the regular restlessness that tends to creep in despite being at home for three-fourth of the year. In its place I feel a deep groundedness. My work is as much impacted as others, but I am not anxious about the future. I am enjoying the way my body has slowed downed with the onset of winter. I am happy when my periods coincide with either the full moon or the new moon, as if my body is trying to realign and find its way back to the moon. I want to play the flute, not learn how to play, because I feel the wind wants to speak to me. I am slowly learning to extend the concepts of consent and reciprocity to soil, land, Earth and the plants in my balcony garden. When I grow, it’s with the consent of the seeds and soil. When I take something, I leave a bit of my hair in return.
I do feel a different kind of restlessness though. A restlessness of presenting myself in the new world, of stepping into my true potential, of being my wild self, and of establishing a new narrative. There’s a world out there where people deeply trust each other, collaborate and cooperate, and only follow the language of the heart. I have seen glimpses of this world and felt its breathing growing presence.
This year taught me for certain that the only true reality is being grounded to our beautiful home, Earth and being inherently connected with all beings nature. That when things fall apart all around you, when you fall apart, She is the only one, who is and will be there for you. And bring you home.