Why is the Sacred Lotus blooming out of season?
This years diminished tourist season might have kept the tourists, pilgrims and trekkers out, but that did not stop the flowers from blooming, and keeping on blooming late in the year. It made me think — what good things come Covid times, what surprises have you have in the year of the Covid?
Last year at this time, we were all gearing up for the start of the ‘twenties, a new decade looked bright and shiny — and then it changed on us in a flash. I was supposed to head out to India in March, and then onwards to Spain, and returning to India to do the sacred trek around Mount Kailash. At this time, that is from end September to end November, we were supposed to be in the US, attending conferences, trekking and driving across the States from East to West before hopping onto a plane and flying west over the Pacific, getting home well in time for a summery Christmas.
And just as well, it didn’t happen, as border hostilities between China and India put an abrupt halt to any Kailash tours, and the US elections and #BLM has made the US a very unstable place to attempt a holiday, who would have thought that? So Covid was bad or good — it stopped us going to areas where there would have been other problems.
On the other hand, returning to the Brahmakamal, the lack of tourists, and the drop in pollution over the Indian subcontinent, may have been factors in increasing the blooming season and the extended area. Typically, it blooms at over 4000m, which is why it cannot be seen in the Valley of Flowers, you have to climb to Hemkund Sahib to see this flower clinging to the steep rocky slopes.
So what other good things happened this year?
For me as an author — more people are reading books, and that is a good thing.
More people are writing books — whenever there is pivotal moment, there are different, eye-opening moments that need to be recorded.
Like the Brahmakamal blooming out of season, people who never imagined they could be published authors are publishing books today!
Here are my 5 things:
1. Self-publishing is now the way to publish — when bookstores are closed where are you going to go? Direct to the author of course.
2. I’m perfectly happy to rarely go out on random reasons. Home is a great place to be.
3. There are plenty of beautiful trails and hikes that I can do right here — they sort of placate my need to hike in wild and high places.
4. Friends are precious, and even more so when you can’t see them easily. Don’t take them for granted!
5. I’ve phoned, Whatsapped, and Zoomed more than ever before — with friends and family.
Tell me your 10 or 5 things that are good this year.