One of my goals for 2018 was to start writing life articles on my blog. The goal stayed on the back burner because I was not sure where to start or what to write. But as my favorite quote from the movie Forrest Gump, ” Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get“, life always had surprises for me. One day morning I was standing on my apartment balcony enjoying the morning tea. Putting my mind in the “no-thinking” zone, I looked at the sky. It helps me to appreciate the beautiful world around. After a while, I started to get back inside, then I noticed the garden pot on my balcony. I bent down and took a closer look..there it is !!!…. a tiny green leaf, nudging just above the soil like a newborn baby. And there it is, the inspiration for my article. Life just gave the surprise chocolate.
Now you all might be thinking, why there is this much fuss about a sapling and it’s leaf. That’s the story I am going to narrate. In the spring of 2016, me and my wife decided to buy seeds of Tulsi plant ( Holy Basil) online. The plant has a lot of medicinal values and Indians consider it to be lucky to have a Basil plant at home :). We bought the seeds and the pot for it. We started watering the seeds once in a while and eventually, the saplings came out. Spring passed and summer came, the saplings didn’t grow much but somehow stood against the wrath of torching sun. We were watering it then and there. But when the fall came, the saplings lost their game. They surrendered to the mother nature. By the time winter came, our basil pot looked empty and dry. Both me and wife felt sad about it but that was the least of our worries. We moved ahead and my wife went to college for her post-graduate studies. This was during August 2017. And our basil pot was still empty….
On one of my lonely weekends at home, I took the garden tools and plowed the basil pot. There was still seeds remaining on the packet we bought in 2016. I took a handful of seeds from that and put it on the pot. The fall season was on the cards and it was not the right time to plant new seeds, but I didn’t care. I just put the seeds in the pot and took it inside of the apartment. I pray every evening in-front of an oil lamp and also keep a copper vessel filled with water for the prayer. Every day the water in the vessel needs to be changed. So I started a new habit, sprinkling the old water into the basil pot. The pot was very dry and mother nature was getting cold outside. But I was not worried about the sapling. I just poured the water daily without worrying whether it will be enough for the seeds or even to keep the pot wet for germination. Winter came with all it’s mighty. We had a couple of heavy snowfalls but the process of pouring water into the basil pot continued. My wife came back after her studies, we got busy again. But the habit of “water to basil pot” got instilled into me and my wife also took that up. And in the Spring of 2018, I saw that tiny leaf!!! coming out with all its power to life …And for me it was one of the best feelings of my life. Life is always beautiful, we just need to look around and enjoy it. The joy of small things is so graceful and that’s the reason why we all are nostalgic about the wonderful things we did when we were children.
The basil sapling failed in its first attempt and surrendered to mother nature. It took two years for the seed to turn into a sapling and raise above the grounds covering it up. This time they are strong. I am sure that they will outlast this winter. There is this dialogue in the movie Batman Begins “Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.” We all fail at times in our life, face setbacks or difficult situations which will test out limits to push forward. But always keep in mind, we are learning, learning to push our limits, learning to rise above the bars set by others and ourselves. Never be afraid of failures because one day, you are going to come back with all the things you have learned. The tiny basil seed didn’t succumb to the hardness of the soil above and the weather outside, rather it decided to rise above the limits and come into this world to play its part. Never be afraid of your limits and failures, because you can outrun them.
For me, I was not thinking about the day of seeing sapling when I started watering the pot. I never worried about the end result. I focused on the process, one step at a time. I watered the pot all day every day that it became a ritual. We all fail to commit to habits because we are way too focused on the end result. We set the end goal way before we are anywhere near it. People going to gym sets their goal to reduce weight by 10 lbs or have six-pack abs, students set their goal to a certain score and so on. Never do that. Focus on the process, never on the end goal. If you follow the process, you will be rewarded. This was not the first time I was experiencing this. I will write about all of them in the coming days. Me and my wife will continue to water the pot because we are never worried whether the sapling will become a large plant or not. We enjoy the gratitude of watering a plant daily. We all should be happy to be alive on this wonderful planet. Find happiness in the smallest of things and never worry too much about tomorrow. Step by step, lay the stones and you will build the mansion of life. Be it in your career or finance or personal life, learning for an hour daily, investing $100 monthly, giving your loved ones a kiss and hug daily will go a long way….
And old Malayalam ( Indian regional language) poem which I learned in my school days.
“Maduvin mathaalppaari moolunnu madupangal
Maduram ijjeevitham cheruthaanennakilum”
arellammen gurunathar arellammen gurunathar
parithil ellam enne padippikkunnudennum”
When translated it reads as below
” In the kick of honey, bees are whizzing
Life is beautiful even though it’s short
who all are my teachers, who all are my teachers
Everything in this world teaches me something daily”
So life is short … Enjoy it and be happy…..And always be a learner…..
Our basil plant …..