The daily Speaking Tree in Times of India is filled with opinions, advice, and commentaries on life by spiritual leaders of various denominations. Some of them get quite dense, verbose, and abstract. Occasionally, one gets a simple, gentle article that touches the heart in a way that only Ruskin Bond can.
To have got to this point in life without the solace of religion says something for all the things that have brought me joy and a degree of contentment. Books, of course; I couldn’t have survived without books and stories. And companionship – which is sometimes friendship, sometimes love and sometimes, if we are lucky, both. And a little light laughter, a sense of humour. And, above all, my relationship with the natural world – up here in the hills; in the dusty plains; in a treeless mohalla choked with concrete flats, where I once found a marigold growing out of a crack in a balcony. I removed the plaster from the base of the plant, and filled in a little earth which I watered every morning. The plant grew, and sometimes it produced a little orange flower which I plucked and gave away before it died. This much I can tell you: for all its hardships and complications, life is simple. And a nature that doesn’t sue for happiness often receives it in large measure.
Herein lies the question – what more great spiritual achievements does one need if one lives in harmony and in love with Nature?