Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Nature, Interrupted

I sat in the beauty of our large verandah in the (semi) early morning, sipping my coffee, and ready to begin my personal prayer time. In the crowded, polluted city that I live, having this space, surrounded by green is pure gift. The last apartment I lived in didn't let any sunlight into the house, and didn't have even the tiniest semblance of a balcony.

So I reveled in this clean, green moment. "Thank you Lord, for this beautiful place and time. I feel Your presence...."

The (semi) silence of the morning was broken by a sudden outbreak of crows cawing violently in the tree overshadowing the verandah.

"What's going on? Are they warning me about an earthquake?"(Worst Case Scenario are my three middle names.)

And then like a conquering hero, the Cat sprung onto the wall dividing our verandah from the building terrace.

With a dead bird in its mouth.

My quiet peaceful morning slunk away.


The Cat stared at me coldly for a moment, and then sprung down to our verandah, stalked away gracefully, and deposited the dead bird behind a plant.

"I may allow you to co-exist in my verandah for a while," the Cat seemed to say. "But don't push it."

(My room mate R was less intimidated, and tried to spray water at it to chase it away. And then it accidentally fell off the terrace wall, five floors down. But then again, maybe it didn't because it re-appeared alive and well shortly after.)


A year ago I was at a beautiful town up in the hills for a retreat my organization was running. One morning we got everyone to wake up early to climb up to a volcanic plateau area. A perfect spot for a gorgeous time of prayer with the Creator, we thought.

We even took a flask of ginger chai, and biscuits. I mean, seriously, could life get any better?

I was perched on the edge of the cliff with my bible, prayer journal, and cup of chai, overlooking the hill town, and the valley in the distance, feeling the cool morning air.

I began to write:

And then I heard something... or someone behind me.

A dog, I thought, only as I turned, it wasn't a dog but a monkey. Just a monkey, right? I used to want a pet monkey when I was 12.

I shooed it away. But instead of showing any sign of backing off, it took a few steps closer.

This is when I jumped up, nervously. Please don't forget the fact that I was on the edge of a cliff. The monkey grabbed my empty chai cup, and almost got my bag before I snatched it up and tried to make my escape. There may have been some freaking out too. Thankfully there was no tragic falling off a cliff.

The monkey attempted to continue terrorizing retreatants until it was scared off  by a friend who... wait for it..... raised his arms and roared at the monkey.

Yes, indeed.

Communing with nature. So peaceful.

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