As I prepare to leave the United States for India (4 days) I keep making and remaking lists of things to be accomplished and put in order. Some of the items on my lists consist of packing, getting malaria medicine, saying, “see ya” to a few people, and trying to adjust my mental state to the adventure at hand.
My mind has been whirling with thoughts, decisions, and possible scenarios I may encounter in India, which has left me with an emotional mosaic of feelings. I feel comparable, perhaps, to how I imagine a fuzzy dandelion seed would – if one could feel. What I mean to say is that, like a single dandelion seed, I have been surrounded by familiarity the majority of my life; I know my surroundings and the people that occupy it. Yet, the time is coming when the winds of life are blowing stronger than ever and my place in my familiar surroundings is loosening to allow me to fly to a mysterious destination and grow anew. However, unlike the dandelion I can return back to my proverbial seeds – bringing back experiences to share.
The curious culture of India draws me in and leaves me anticipating our meeting. Two quotes continue coming to the forefront of my mind when I imagine stepping off the plane in Delhi. The first is the beginning line of Rudyard Kipling’s The Ballad of East and West and it goes, “East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet”. The second is “Whatever you will do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it” by Mahatma Gandhi. The first quote comes to mind because I hope to prove it wrong – I hope that by bridging the distant physically (going from West to East) that a mental bridging can occur between these two cultures as well. The second quote by Gandhi is something I enjoy turning over in my mind and will leave it for the reader as food for thought.
The upcoming journey to India fills me with a mixture of anxiety and excitement. I am, at times, fearful of the unknown; however, when this thought fills me I remember that four months is only the blink of an eye in beginningless time – and I’m fine.