I’d like to get away from earth awhile, And then come back to it and begin again.
I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree, Climb black branches up a snow-white trunk.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birch trees.
Every once in a while, Robert Frost’s lines ring through my head and I want to get away from the world to spend some time by myself, alone with my thoughts.
A recent activity organized by my office afforded me the chance to do just that. Sailing in the waters of the Arabian Sea, in a small white yacht with only seagulls for company and the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel rising majestically in the distance.
As the boat drifted further away from the shore, you could almost picture life slowing down. The gentle breeze filling the sails of the boat, the water lapping against the sides of the boat, the peace and quiet- it was too good an experience and made waking up at 4.00 AM totally worth it!
Being novices, we were only allowed to steer the boat in whichever direction we wanted to go, though I wouldn’t have minded a crash course in managing the sails as well. Sailing can of course, be a leisurely as well as an extreme form of adventure. Extreme sailing also provides a good grounding in team work since it’s all about coordination and understanding the elements of nature.
Hailing from a small-town and having lived in a few cities where the pace of life was not-so-hectic, coming to Bombay was akin to someone jolting me awake. I like the pace of things to be measured (does that make me sound Victorian?), not necessarily slow, which is why at times I just want to leave it all, and as Frost says, come back to it and begin again.
In our rushed daily existence, we get so caught up in the grind that life tends towards the mundane, and it’s easy to forget to ‘stop and smell the roses’. Life is too beautiful to be hurried along. There are things to do, people to meet, places to travel to, experiences to be had- so much to look forward to; that we need to savor every moment to be able to distill the true essence of life.
In the end, we are all looking for a birch tree to climb…