Sometimes we notice people only when they are missing. The same faces are, more or less, seen every day on the regular path to work, on a morning jog, or even at a local grocery store. There is no conversation. Neither knows the other’s occupation, family history, address or even age. Yet, there is an imperceptible nod of recognition.
Early morning is the best time to go out to meet birds. The ones atop the trees are sometimes within the range of the lense of my eyes and sometimes completely evade me behind leaves and the mist. A while ago, I was pleasantly surprised to see a couple of Kalij Pheasants wandering around the lawns of Second Chance House. Trust happens very slowly and gradually so we stayed far apart from each other. Clearly, they looked like they were in love. It was better to give them space (specially in today’s world where finding a mate is so difficult). As in a neighbourhood romance, it is great fun to observe how the relationship blooms.
While one side of me thoroughly enjoys gossip, the other side craves the silent wise companionship of the century old trees. That morning, we discussed, without speaking a word, of how advice should be given. Although, deeply immersed in the discussion, I could not help a nagging thought – Why is there only one kalij, where is its partner?
Was it the timber or did the leaves tell me that we should adjourn the discussion for the day as I needed to have a calmer frame of mind. I cannot say that I was not annoyed. Being much taller than I was, I am sure the trees could see where the missing pheasant was, and they could have easily put my mind to rest.
A day or two passed when we (the woods and I) did not speak to each other, until Sangeeta excitedly came to tell me that she had spotted a kalij nest on the slope just behind the house. There were eggs for sure because when she tried to peep in, there was a lot of hostility from the mother bird. I was so relieved that I went to inform the trees. After all, there would be young ones to take care of. The rustling leaves joined my excitement and told me – there are more positive things in the world than there are negative.
A month later, beating all odds and dangers such as snakes and other predators, the kalij junior brood was proudly presented to the world. My heart filled with joy as I saw them strutting around. Who said only peacocks have the right to be proud? The stoic trees just stood around in the background. They did not have much to say.
Suddenly, Sunita, who is extremely fond of birds and animals caught one of the pheasants and there was cacophony all around. I was shocked and insisted that she let go of the bird immediately. Interestingly, my voice had no urgency or nervousness, I was absolutely calm and matter of fact. How easy it is to let go!
As I sipped my cup of Kukicha under the large trees, I realised I had got my answer. The best advice is to be a good listener and let people come to their own conclusions and realisations.
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