Today is a “snow day” in New Orleans, which basically means that we will have freezing temperatures all day and possible rain that may create ice on the roads, hence un-safe driving conditions. As I sit in my house working, I am reminded of the time I visited a rural village outside of Rajasthan, India.
I visited a friend’s cousin who had an orgamic farm in the middle of nowhere. In order to reach there, I took a bus that dropped me off at a restaurant on the side of the highway, then the Uncle picked me up on his motorcycle, we drove down the highway, turned onto a dirt road, passed a Camel tractor and fifteen minutes later we reached a blue building, some cows and a happy family.
The first thing I did was sit with the women waiting for the children to come home from school, so they could show me the town. When they arrived, they were eager to take the long walk along the dry dirt roads. As we walked, I was parched, but the only place to get fresh clean water was at the local well. The town had a couple tiny shops and a mosque. We bought a Coca-Cola and drank it in the pouring summer rains under the overhang of a building. It was the best Coca-Cola I have ever had.
On the way back, we stopped at the neighbors to sit in front of their house. And as I was counting down the hours till bed- time, I started to notice the birds; they intrigued me. And all the sudden I became extra observant of all the sights and sounds around me. I started to become ok with just sitting, and I felt myself completely relaxing.
As the sun set, we watched 30 minutes of TV (all huddled in one room) before the power went out. Huge bugs flew into my room and in order to escape the heat, and bugs, we slept outside, letting the gentle breeze cool us down.
As the sun rose, we rose. The women began their chores, and I sat watching. When I left the farm I pledged to always take time to just sit in the open air, but I have not upheld my pledge.
If you have a snow day or any free day, don’t forget that it is ok to just sit. You never know what you may see or feel when you sit.