I live in an avian paradise. From October onwards, the winged visitors frequently fly past my house. I crane my neck skywards to see a dazzling formation that rivals the world’s best air shows. As the birds slice through the azure blue sky, I wonder…. About many things, most of all, the mystery of life. Where do these avian journeys originate and where do they end, if at all? Are the birds obsessed with their destination? Or are they content to just fly with the flow; savoring every moment; with an inherent wisdom that the journey is the only Path; the only Way. What are the birds are seeking? Is it just a refuge from the barren winter? Or is it something more— the soul’s deep yearning to traverse the cosmic highway of life in search of a higher reality? Often, I too wish I could travel as lightly as birds do: spread my wings and soar, float, flip and flop, with a lightness of being….
Ultimately, all journeys are journeys of the Spirit. Recently I was in the Silent Valley Forest Reserve in Kerala. I walked into the unknown, both literally and metaphorically. Being a seasoned city dweller meant I had to negotiate the jungle terrain in the absence of road maps and directions. Along my wanderings, I also learnt to trust my instinct; to listen to my inner wisdom; to just be.
This brings me to another interesting aspect that manifested during my sojourn in the wild. As I walked along, I felt I was part of the environment. Wayne Dyer in Manifest Your Destiny uses the term “environorganism” to describe this feeling of interconnectedness and inseparability of the organism and environment. Rather than viewing ourselves as organisms in the environment, he invites us to view ourselves as extensions of the environment and inseparable from it. Such an organic world view reveals our connection with everything around us—to the five panchabhutas or the five elements: earth, water, wind, fire, and sky. Nothing like a foray into the forest to experience such awareness.
I love to wander… travel, seek… it is my basic need to explore and express myself. Doing so I begin to discover myself and confront aspects of myself that I was unaware of or even refused to acknowledge. Which is why I was amazed to know that the need to journey is deeply human. About 70,000 years ago, our human ancestors migrated all the way from Africa via the East Coast of India to Australia. The discovery of the ancient gene marker M 130 in 14 people in a village near Madurai provides scientific credence to the fact that we live in an interrelated and interconnected world: part of One Family. Borders and divides are creations of the mind and isn’t it time we realised that this is the Maya that keeps us separate and apart not only from others but ourselves too?