Remembering How to Live
This trip is a process of remembering.
I had forgotten what it is like to warm yourself in the morning by doing the yoga equivalent of jumping jacks.
Imagine waking up in your house and the inside temperature is about plus ten.
How many layers of socks, pants, sweaters, scarves and hats do you have to put on to stay warm?
Now start doing your morning yoga practice in that. You NEED your socks, hat and scarf when you begin. Your goal is to raise your body temperature.
Soon the layers begin to be peeled off.
I had forgotten what that is like.
By lunchtime, especially if it is sunny, it will reach the high teens or even twenties, but for now, you must bundle up.
There is no central heat in northern India. Daytime temps can reach t-shirt wearing level.
Nighttime is cold within the concrete walls and we rely on the warmth of companionship, woolies, heating food and drinks and a small but surprisingly very hot fire in a bucket.Ha!
My husband right now just came in to use the bathroom and let out a big hollar when his butt hit the cold toilet seat. Hahahha.
Oh what we wouldn't do for a heated Wickanninish Inn toilet seat right about now.
By north American standards you would categorize this as austere, even a form of suffering, but it is not. I'll admit, at first, it takes a bit of getting used to.
At first coming back here, I had forgotten how to do it. But having had months of practice during previous visits, it isn't taking long to get back into the swing of things and to remember the closeness, the interdependence and WARMTH that this fosters between people.
Here's my niece, Mannu. She finally put a winter jacket on last night.
All wrapped up and huddled beside my mother in law and my 15 year old niece last night around the bucket fire *it's small so you have so cuddle in nice and close* I was reminded of the fun it is to warm your hands and feet together in so close of a pod. To BE together so intimately and share everything together.
It is a beautiful way to live and a way that leaves you feeling more warm on the inside than the fire will ever warm you on the outside.
So I am remembering how to keep warm and also how to just BE with people again, in this intimate and beautiful and simple way.
My sister in law is away visiting her family in Delhi. She is the chief cook and bottle washer normally.
My father in law's brother lives right beside us with his family (his wife, their 2 sons, their wives and 2 kids) and while Ritu is away, different members of their family come over here to help ours out.
Since Nakul's mom needs to rest a lot because of kidney disease, there is just my brother in law and my husband to take care of things.
So different members of their family come over and make roti for us, or wash the dishes or clean the kitchen floor.
No one asks them to do this. They just do. That is how they do here.
Help eachother out to make life easier.
It is so amazing.
Here is Mannu, me and Nakul making roti
I learn a lot from being here every time.
I learn that my ego can get out of hand at times.
Being here humbles you.
It makes you realize that it is the simple things in life that matter and that people can be MORE happy with nothing than we are in the west with every imaginable comfort and convenience.
So I am in the process of remembering that now.
Grateful for the refresher course.