Certain light or sound triggers memories to come flooding in. Does this happen to you?
Early evening light shining through the trees that gives it a green glow is the strongest trigger for me. The best way I can describe it is as a soft light but still with enough strength that the leaves get a lining of light and they get a green glow. That mixes with the soft sunlight that passes unhindered through the gaps between branches; straight threads of light that is golden and hit the ground illuminating it in patches. There is beauty to that light that can never be described fully with just words. I don’t have a photo that I can completely show you what I mean but this photo should give you an idea.
We moved around lot due to my dad’s job. My grandparents house was my anchor. The place I thought of as home. It was the place I always came back too. It was a small house but the garden was huge, at least that is what it felt to me as a child. There were trees all around – mango trees, gooseberry, coconut palms, tamarind, java apple, jackfruit. Then there were the flowering plants, so many of them that I still don’t know the names of half of them. All sorts of birds and squirrels called that garden their home. Some birds and squirrels were friendly enough that they would come up to the window. Oh and there was at least one cat in that house at any given time, the highest number was nine but that was before I was born.
It was my house and my special piece of the world and I was hurt when they sold it. But in my mind the memory of the place is still fresh. Every nook and corner of the house and the garden , the furniture, the view of The Western Ghats from the terrace, I still remember it all. When the evening light starts shining I get memories of my granddad and watering plants with him and going for walks with his pet dog. I get the memory of treats that my grandmother would make.
I spent a lot of time in that garden. I pretended it was a forest and I an explorer. After Jurassic park came out I pretended our garden had fossils and I searched for them. I remember my swing that was hung from the tamarind tree. I got to walk barefoot and feel the earth.I got to see the colours of butterflies clash against the colours of flowers. I learned to not be afraid of bugs and to stay away when the occasional snake showed up and to always steer clear of bee hives. Grandad’s dog gave me company in exploring. It was not unkempt but it was not a manicured sort of garden either. All I can describe it as is that it looked “natural”. It was how a garden would look if you just let plants grow their own way and kept weeds from taking over.
Now, the sound part. Having that many trees meant even a slight breeze made the leaves rustle. It was a calming noise and it still helps me to calm down. Rains and heavy winds means an awful lot of noise when there is that much trees but it was beautiful in its own way.
I love that light and that sound just because of these memories. It was a part of my life that I am glad I got to live. How many kids today can say they got to do that? Even people my age did not get that experience when they were kids. It is a wonderful experience to grow up in touch with nature. Real, raw nature and not digital prints of it on Tv or internet. It is a pleasure that no Xbox or Playstation can ever give.
Whenever I do get the chance I like to close my eyes and let that green light shine against my eyelids while I go through all that memories.
Photo Location : Sanjay Gandhi National Park.