I really like autumn. I love the transition. I am grateful for the harvest. The land is lush, it’s abundant, it’s ripe and bursting. The last hazy days of hot sunshine. The vibrancy of so many colours.
I love that my adventure started in the autumn. I feel that it’s allowing me to release old self-limiting beliefs and patterns, to harvest with thanks the fruits of personal courage, of loving support from friends and family, of the ways and means available that allows me to travel for a year around a foreign country. I love that as the land is in transition, so am I.
One of the many things I am grateful for is the opportunity to experience India and its seasons for a whole year. I know English seasons, and that knowledge allows for a connection to something much larger than my small self. What will it be to experience an Indian autumn, in a land that is so large that the climate can differ drastically from north to south? What will the land look like after the monsoon? How will I adjust to the temperature changes, going from an October of 12 degrees centigrade to an October of 30 plus degrees in Delhi? (I have to admit I was rather looking forward to that aspect.)
Making my way through Delhi my brain could not understand that it was seeing bushes with bright green new growth and so many flowers – it looked like spring. In October. And the abundance of wildlife in a city with an estimated population of around 18.5 million people begs disbelief. I’d see daily more black kites, butterflies, dragonflies and palm squirrels that I could shake a stick at. All in the middle of a densely populated city. I certainly wouldn’t see anything like that in London.
I really enjoy these unexpected differences. The opening up of perspective in ways that I don’t anticipate. It allows me to land quite solidly into this new country. It offers a different, but no less potent way of connecting to the experience.
A couple of days afer I arrived in Delhi, I had an experience that fully pulled me into arriving into this land and culture. It was amazing to witness. I’d flown out on the ninth night of a Hindu celebration called Maha Navaratri (nava is Sanscrit for nine, natri is night) which is dedicated to the worship of Durga and Shakti, powerful forms of the divine feminine, and their battle with a demon. For nine nights and ten days different aspects of the divine feminine are worshipped. It’s a battle between light and dark, honouring transition and a time of great release, culminating in victory and healing. Spiritually I felt that I couldn’t have arrived at a better time. This festival mirrored that of the transition of autumn that I’d always experienced in England, the release and clearing to allow for the light.
And the celebrations! Streets closed down for a victory carnival of jubilant proportions. Firecrackers, drumming, singing, fire-breathing, cheering, women in trucks throwing sweets into the crowds, tuc tucs and cows stubbornly ignoring the flow of the procession. I stood watching it from the balcony of my hotel and knew that I’d arrived in India.
For more pictures, you can check out the gallery Delhi, ah, Delhi.
– McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh –