Posted in inspiration, motivation, nature, personal, photography, quotes, random thoughts, reading, self help, writing

“The human voice can never reach the distance that is covered by the still small voice of conscience.” Mahatma Gandhi

 

“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Posted in adventure, inspiration, motivation, personal, quotes, random thoughts, reading, self help, snow hazards, writing

A miraculous escape

“Miracles do not happen in contradiction to nature, but only in contradiction to that which is known to us of nature.”

We got a few snow showers in the last few weeks which were an indication of the advent of winter season. It’s not that I don’t like snow or winter but just the fact that it brought back to memory a chilling incident that happened to us 2 years back.
That dreadful day, we were returning from Escanaba, MI to Chicago, after having spent the long weekend of President’s Day traveling around Lake Michigan. We had a great time skiing at Treetop ski resort. We also visited the Mackinaw City and the frozen Tahquamenon falls. The weather forecast had warned travelers on that route of a snowstorm the previous night. However, that morning, as we left our hotel, the weather seemed to be quite pleasant. Just before reaching highway 41, following the google map, I directed my husband to take a wrong route (of course unknowingly). Soon I realized the mistake but we were almost 15/20 miles away. As we drove back, the weather seemed to turn gloomy.

 the doomed car

the road mistaken

Unfortunately for us, this was the first time hubby was driving on snow and had no knowledge of the hazards of snow till then. When we had left Chicago, the weather forecast showed a pleasant weekend ahead and no signs of snowfall anywhere along our route. To add to our gloom, we had not seen the forecast for green bay area that day.

snowfall on the way

the dreary road

There wasn’t much traffic on the way and so hubby confidently set the car on the cruise control mode (never do it on icy roads…a lesson well learnt). I was feeling a little uneasy for reasons unknown but I put my thoughts back and decided to take a nap. Hardly did I close my eyes when the car swirled to the left and as I opened my eyes to enquire what was happening, the car swiftly swirled to the right again and skid off the road to the ditch by the side. Were we lucky that the ditch was filled with fresh snow? Can’t say at all…

For the first time in my life I was glad I had my seat belts on when I found myself hanging upside down in the car. Dazed at the quick turn of events I looked around at hubby and found him in a similar position (seems so funny now). I was in a shock and so was hubby. However, he quickly searched for the mobile and tried to call 911. We tried to get out of the car but the snow seemed to have blocked the door. Luckily, we heard someone outside and found a man helping us out. He quickly led us away from our car and was generous enough to let us wait in his car till the police and ambulance arrived. I was shivering like hell not just because of the incident but also because I had my jacket off while inside the car. It was freezing outside. The Good Samaritan, who was just behind us, had immediately called 911 when he saw our car topple off the road. In about 10 mins the police and an ambulance arrived and we thanked the man and his wife for the kind gesture and shifted to the police car.


This was the first time I got a look at our car. I was horrified at the condition it was in and thanked god we got out of it without a scratch. The policeman took about 20/25 minutes to prepare the report and then he dropped us at a nearby gas station. Our car was towed away as it was in no condition to be driven.


Our misfortune continued further when even after several calls at our car agency, hubby couldn’t manage to get another car for rent. Because of the bad weather in that area, many flights were cancelled and it seemed people had taken rental cars to drive to their destinations. It was getting dark and we were stuck at the gas station for nearly 2 hrs now. The girl at the counter sensed our distress and like an angel from nowhere came to help us out. She went out of the way to call a cab for us to take us to a nearby hotel. We accepted her suggestion and decided to stay there for the night.
It was only when we reached the hotel room did we realize the dreadful situation we came out of. I burst into tears and was uncontrollable for some time. Hubby too was feeling sorry and guilty of having put me into such danger. But I consoled him saying that we were lucky to have got away so easily and for some unknown reasons, both of us had not a single scratch.
Next day, we went to the grey hound bus station in the hotel shuttle and headed back for Chicago. Once home we again thanked our fortunes of having lived to see another day even after such a harrowing accident. It was a miracle indeed.

After this incident, we try to abstain from driving during snow but for unavoidable circumstances hubby has made a thorough study of such situations. Its always better to stay prepared than wait for miracles to happen.

“To be alive, to be able to see, to walk…it’s all a miracle.”

Posted in art, inspiration, lakes, landscapes, literature, motivation, mountains, nature, photography, poetry, quotes, reading, self help, writing

“Nature is not only all that is visible to the eye.. it also includes the inner pictures of the soul” Edvard Munch

The Park (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

The prosperous and beautiful
To me seem not to wear
The yoke of conscience masterful,
Which galls me everywhere.

I cannot shake off the god;
On my neck he makes his seat;
I look at my face in the glass,
My eyes his eye-balls meet.

Enchanters! enchantresses!
Your gold makes you seem wise:
The morning mist within your grounds
More proudly rolls, more softly lies.

Yet spake yon purple mountain,
Yet said yon ancient wood,
That night or day, that love or crime
Lead all souls to the Good.

Posted in adventure, art, autumn, birds, entertainment, fall colors, inspiration, lakes, morning walk, motivation, personal, photography, quotes, random thoughts, reading, self help, writing

My first lonely morning walk

John Muir rightly said “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”

Never did I venture out alone during my 3 yrs stay in the US. I was always accompanied by someone in my evening or morning walks. It’s not because I was scared or something but it just happened to be so. Earlier, when we lived in Chicago, 2 years back, I happened to meet a lady with whom I became friends and together we used to plan our outings after hubby left for work. Then, when we moved to Minnesota, for a while I had stopped my exercises due to my back pain and soon became sickly. Hubby decided to motivate me to walk again and joined me in my evening hikes. He would drive me to different lakes near our home   (after all Minnesota is a land of 10,000 lakes) and then after parking the car we would walk round the lake. But that didn’t last long as he often had to come late from office. So my walks stopped again.

But after many a distressful shopping blunders, the realization daunted on me that I need to do something of my ever growing potbelly. So, I decided to take advantage of the good weather and start my morning walks after hubby left for work. So, bidding him adieu, the other day and armed with a water bottle and my Samsung galaxy, I stepped out of my cozy den. I could feel the fresh air against my face after being inside the warm heated apartment. A cool breeze was blowing and I was glad I wore the thicker sweatshirt. You don’t know the outside temperature unless you step out and very often I had suffered because of my miscalculations.

I felt confident and happy to have taken the decision and with a hidden smile on my face I took the familiar path round the lake just behind my apartment. There is a small wood at the very entrance of the path where I often went with hubby to click photos.

But today was slightly different as I was alone. I was expecting more people to be running and jogging but perhaps I was one of those few who stayed at home while others rushed to work at that hour. However, I started my walk speeding up my pace and slowing down in between not to get tired. As I reached the densest part of the wood, some creepy feelings disturbed me thanks to the horror movies and thriller serials that I was addicted to. As I approached a fork, I heard voices and saw two men approaching. All the weird and crazy images from the Criminal minds serial came into my mind and I even had visions of my battered lifeless body lying amidst a huge pile of fallen autumn leaves. I held tight to my phone and water bottle in case I needed them. Unaware of my thoughts, the two men walked past me as they chatted away with each other. I caught my normal breath only when the men disappeared in the opposite direction.

From then on I relaxed and decided not to listen to my thoughts and enjoy the scene along the way. I realized that Fall was not yet over and there were colorful trees all around. I took out my Samsung and started clicking photos. Seeing me do that, a cyclist stopped to comment on the view. This time fortunately my mind was cleared off of all the thriller scenes and happily responded to him. I even clicked a photo of him riding away which made a great picture.

I continued my solitary walk and was just halfway through when I heard a gagling noise overhead. Through the leaves of the trees, I saw a flight of migratory birds in a skein. I was so mystified and fascinated by this aerial spectacle that I forgot to click and by the time I could, they were out of range. I was almost depressed when suddenly I could hear them again and this time I didn’t want to let go the chance and quickly got a few pictures. I felt as if they heard my sadness and returned to make me happy. I felt so thankful to them.

Happy at my accomplishment I continued my journey enjoying everything I saw.

A man was cleaning away the fallen leaves.

The bushes along the roadside seemed to fire up.

I was tempted to rest for a while on the bench when I saw the following sign. It seemed to indicate that if you want that size then go ahead and sit. I felt a kind of sarcasm on whoever had made that drawing but also felt thankful and my desire to rest vanished immediately.

It was a 3 ½ miles walk round the lake and at first I was doubtful of completing it. But I didn’t realize how time flew as I was busy clicking pictures all through my hike.It seemed even nature around me was inspiring me to go on.

As I approached the end of my walk, I felt a kind of victory of having accomplished something. Yes, my first solitary walk and I enjoyed it to the full.

‘The sum of the whole is this: walk and be happy; walk and be healthy. The best way to lengthen out our days is to walk steadily and with a purpose.’ Charles Dickens

Posted in autumn, fall colors, inspiration, landscapes, language, literature, motivation, photography, poem, poetry, quotes, random thoughts, writing

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” ― George Eliot

Fallen Leaves by Robert William Service
Why should I be the first to fall
Of all the leaves on this old tree?
Though sadly soon I know that all
Will lose their hold and follow me.
While my birth-brothers bravely blow,
Why should I be first to go?Why should I be the last to cling
Of all the leaves on this bleak bough?
I’ve fluttered since the fire of Spring
And I am worn and withered now.
I would escape the Winter gale
And sleep soft-silvered by a snail.

When swoop the legions of the snow
To pitch their tents in roaring weather
We fallen leaves will lie below
And rot rejoicingly together;
And from our rich and dark decay
Will laugh our brothers of the May.

Posted in art, eulogy, inspiration, landscapes, language, literature, motivation, mountains, photography, poem, poetry, quotes, random thoughts, reading, self help, writing

Garden of the gods

Poem of life

Life is but a stopping place,
A pause in what’s to be,
A resting place along the road,
to sweet eternity.
We all have different journeys,
Different paths along the way,
We all were meant to learn some things,
but never meant to stay…
Our destination is a place,
Far greater than we know.
For some the journey’s quicker,
For some the journey’s slow.
And when the journey finally ends,
We’ll claim a great reward,
And find an everlasting peace,
Together with the lord.

unknown

Posted in entertainment, photography, poem, poetry, quotes, random thoughts, sun, sunrise, sunset, travel, writing

My Rendezvous with Sunrise

Morning glory

Image

My heart was touched by your glorious greetings

As I stood numb admiring your first strokes on the earth.

I feasted on your magnetic beauty

As you rose from beneath the sky.

Image

An unspoken communication took place between us

As I tried to capture you through my lenses.

With a mystical smile thou beamed through the turf

Glazing out hues of orange and red.

Image

A precious privilege for the early risers

A blessing from the angels above

A celestial song buzzed around

Even in the stillness of the dawn.