POINT TO PONDER
"Love says to separate oneself from this world, but beauty says that wherever you go there is a new world that waits".
Original Urdu translation: Ishq kehta hai aalam say juda ho jao, Husn kehta hai jahan jao wahan naya aalam hai.
STORY LINE by Anand Shah
Since my retirement in May, I have travelled to many places: Lake Tahoe, Bryce Canyon, Yellowstone, Salt Lake City, New England, New Zealand and Fiji. During my most recent trip to Fiji, a fellow traveler asked, “Which place was the best?” It was difficult to choose as each one had a splendor all its own. From boating on the clear blue waters of Tahoe, to the majestic cliffs of Bryce Canyon, and the warmth that the Fijian people had shared with us; it was difficult to choose just one. As I stood searching for an answer, staring at a line of coconut trees swaying coolly in the warm afternoon breeze, my subconscious mind wanted to claim this stretch of beach as the most beautiful place.
My wife and I reflected on this encounter in the evening over dinner. We recalled every destination we have been to in last six months and all of them had beautiful places, cultures and people. A pattern emerged as all too often we would ask ourselves in each new place, “Can there be a place better than this?” And when the next encounter came, we wondered the same thing.
This feeling did not go away once we returned home and went to the marshlands in Palo Alto. My wife and I watched as this white egret glided past us, rising higher over the marsh, and into the distance against a spectacular view of the San Francisco bay. It was free, it was graceful, and it was beautiful. And for a quiet moment we both just watched… Once it was gone, I finally had my answer. I turned to my wife and said, “This place. This is the best. Right here and right now…”
The whole experience reminded me of the lines from a song that I loved in my childhood and which I choose as this week’s point to ponder. Many times when we encounter something so beautiful and so majestic, in the romance of experiencing that moment we detaching ourselves from the rest of the world. We are fully in the moment. Only later do we realize, in the next encounter, that beauty is everywhere in this world all around you: in nature, in cultures, and in people. If we can get in harmony with the present.