One thing that always surprises me about my everyday life is how disconnected I am from nature. I am disconnected in big ways: we are wreaking havoc on the planet. I am also disconnected in smaller but important way: I work in the arts and value aesthetics but during a recent drive I was so distracted fiddling around with the GPS that I barely looked out the window. It was only when my boyfriend said, ‘Everything is so green right now,’ that I realized that the spring landscape was a breathtaking array of green hues.
Part of this is the hurried pace of modern life; I find I view everything in terms of my convenience. For instance, recently it’s been raining a lot and I keep complaining of how inconvenient it is to ride my bike in the rain. Wouldn’t it be nicer if I were instead happy for the thirsty plants that so desperately need a drink?
Thus it is crucial that we have events in our lives to recalibrate us, remind us of what truly matters. For me, I’ve always found that travelling does this. In stepping away from the rigors of my daily life, I can see more clearly where I’m forgetting what makes me happy and my connection to the earth I live on.
Particularly, a magical place called Basunti seems to wake me up from the foggy daydreaming into which I sometimes feel I’ve fallen. At Basunti everything is so beautiful that you can’t help but live in the present moment. Your senses come alive. The surroundings and people remind you that this life is so vivid, complex and gorgeous. There is the complexity of color on each bougainvillea blossom. There is the tantalizing scent of fresh lemon grass tea. There is the spicy bite of Dave’s fresh chili sauce. There is the shadow of the Himalayas, fading as the sun rises. There is the variety of bird song, subtly different each morning. And everything is always changing so you never stop noticing it. Every day that I was there this past March, I noticed the tiny change in the lotus flowers. They would open gradually during the morning. And as my week at Basunti continued, small buds became larger and larger. It seems simple but how rare it is to closely observe a flower over time. I sat on the porch in the basket swing, sipped lemongrass tea and just watched the lotuses.
There are many beautiful places in the world but the sensation of timelessness at Basunti draws me back there. It feels as if you are in an ancient cradle, beneath those massive mountains. There is a sacred feeling to practicing yoga there. Both times I’ve been, I’ve felt that I couldn’t bear to leave without knowing I would be back. Basunti just feels nourishing. Everything is so vibrant that you slow down and connect.