I find it thrilling to be in transit, in motion, moving through time and space.
As I write this it’s midnight and I’m making my way through the deep, dark, peaceful Indian countryside. This bus is packed with people of all kinds – from Buddhist monks to Nepalese workers to sweet little Indian families. I savour the calm of these moments, as everyone else lies fast asleep. I feel humbled to witness these sleeping bodies, as their souls dance through dreamland. I watch eyelids flutter and listen to the gentle harmony of dream-state breathing – rising and falling, falling and rising.
I’ve opened my window to relieve myself from the growing humidity within the bus. As we bump along through the night, the warm country air soothes me, bringing my attention towards the smell of wild grasses and away from my sore bottom and the occasional whiplash.
I welcome the sweetness of these flatlands as they offer a warm embrace in contrast to the fog and rain of the high Himalayan mountains where I’ve just been for over a month.
I took an herbal sleeping pill hours ago but the bumping of my seat and the curiosity of my heart keep me awake. It will be a long night as we twist along these winding roads and at the moment I’m perfectly at peace with that.
Our headlights illuminate the trunks of trees and small roadside homes as we weave our way through Mama India. The trees appear in the light – exposed, magnificent and tall – and then disappear again into darkness. I love these moments. I love them fully and deeply.
We pass through little towns, shops line the streets and, of course, they are all closed up for the night. The steel doors are painted brilliant colours – aqua marine, peachy orange, sun-kissed yellow, soft purple.
We occasionally steer around slow moving ‘goods carrier’ trucks painted like circus vans.
The cascades of cliffs show rich red soil, held together with pearl white stones.
India is a tapestry of brilliance and light, even in the pitch black of night.
I’ve always felt such comfort on the road – be it in a friend’s van, my old station wagon or this rickety bus…. The road holds the unknown; it promises adventure and satiates my inquisitive nature.
An hour or so back there was a moment when I questioned whether or not I was on the right bus – it felt as though we were heading in the wrong direction and earlier as I boarded and asked the driver of the destination he only nodded for a moment and then turned away. Now my little monkey mind is questioning “oh, was that actually a ‘yes’? Did I read him wrong?”
But here I feel my heart reply “who knows?…who cares?…wherever we end up is where we will be…and what a joy that will be”.
I tingle thinking of arriving in a completely unknown place with no plans and no connections.
I’m reminded of a moment from last summer. My lover and I had been sleeping in the back of his truck beside a lake up in the north of Vancouver Island. We awoke late in the night to the humming of misquotes and upon turning on our flashlights found hundreds of these bloodsuckers buzzing above us. His instinct was to drive. I opened the windows as he tore out of our enclave, flying down the winding road, the mosquitoes were no match for the forces of wind and speed and soon the truck was free from their threat. …and there we were in the silence of night, cruising, in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of everywhere.
I remember lying in the back, covered in blankets, leaning my head out the window into a scene similar to the one I’m experiencing now – tall trees illuminated by headlights in the night. I remember this feeling that came bubbling up from so deep inside. I let it flow and whispered out into the night: “this is home”.
This place here, here inside, is home.
It was this summer lover who reminded me that sometimes we must get truly lost to find that which cannot be found.
I feel this truth vibrating within me now.
Here, in the depths of India’s womb.
In transit, always changing, in motion.