My neighborhood and the neighbor I always wanted

My neighborhood and the neighbor I always wanted

Hello guys,

When we moved to the new home a couple of months ago, I thought that I would be able to gel up with a lot of people. For the last many years we (husband and I) have been living in a condominium. And a condominium life sucks. Well, not every time. But the place where we lived before our current house was kinda boring. No one knew who lived next to whom. Not that it’s NOT common. That’s how a condominium life is. But when we decided to move to an independent house, I was excited more than usual. Because I would have more space, I would shift closer to friends, and especially because I would have a sense of community living here.

When we shifted, it was almost spring. Though there were days when it would snow.  And knowing myself who feels extreme cold in normal weather too, I would say it was winters for me. Does not matter what they decided to call it, spring or summer whatever! So, in the initial months, I would rarely see anyone. But I would hope that very soon the neighborhood would turn green. That I would see lovely faces and we would walk and talk. Honestly, all I had in my mind was an image of a wonderful neighborhood. However, it was different. Not that my neighborhood is not good, but then! You see similar faces every day. They will look at you, smile at you and very very rarely it would go ahead to a formal chhit-chat. In the house right to ours, there lives a big family. I haven’t seen them all together, though I know they are six in count and they rarely strike a conversation. I would label them as shy, very shy yet very sweet people. The conversation here would mostly end at ‘Hi’, ‘Hello’, ‘How are you doing?’

In the house left to us lives a couple. An elderly couple. They appeared more friendly and weren’t that shy. There was a comfort level, more because we could speak the same language. Uncle would give us lots of advice on how to do gardening and other stuff. Since this is our first experience living in an independent house, there is always so much we are unaware of. Like where do we keep our plants in the winters, which nursery is the nearest, where to buy a good snow shovel from. Uncle was ready to guide. Our conversations were not very frequent but most of the time it would go beyond ‘Hii’, and ‘Hello’.

Once my husband and I were worried about why our plants were dying even though we would water them so regularly. I remember my husband was watering the plants and I was standing there discussing the same. I guess Uncle overheard our conversation therefore, he interrupted , ‘Summers are bad. Especially the summers of May and June. During these months when the sun is burning the world with its heat, it’s pretty hard for the plants to survive without water.’

‘But I am watering them every day!’, my husband said.

‘Twice. You have to water them twice. Have you seen the grass at your end? I think you need to water them too. Twice every day’, he suggested.

The other day, I saw her wife walking in the park. It was morning 6:00 am and I was up for running. Our eyes met, we smiled at each other, and then she joined me when she talked about her family. Apparently, the couple lives alone while the daughters who are married, live a couple of hours away.

I had finally found a neighbor whom I could actually call a neighbor. That was now more than just a familiar face. A couple of days ago I said to my husband, ‘This Diwali festival let’s ask them to visit our home. We can invite them for an evening snack or dinner.’
We had agreed to this, but then something happened that almost broke our hearts yesterday.

So, a few days ago, our neighbors were busy with the painting of the house. I said to my husband, ‘Why are they getting the gates painted? I somehow feel that they are getting it ready to sell the house.’

‘Oh no, I don’t think so! Uncle is always busy doing some modification in the house!’, my husband was confident that his heart would remain in place always.
However, today we saw the board for registering the house on sale.

‘Coming soon! For sale!’
That moment nothing broke our heart more than the board.
We felt dejected. A feeling of betrayal flooded our bodies.

Of course, it does not make sense. Why should we feel bad about it? We are neither their relatives nor friends. But how can you make your heart understand who always makes plan and love to remain in the world of dreams? Dream of finding a family-like neighbor. Yesterday when we were outside, we saw Uncle returning from somewhere. He smiled looking at us when my husband went ahead to talk to him.

‘Oh! You are selling this house!’

‘Yes! Our kids live in Caledon and my wife and I are planning to buy a house near to them. We have grandkids and we want to see them as often as we can. Staying near to them would make things easier for them and for us too.’

While that made sense on Uncle’s behalf, we are still very sad. We can see them busy with house hunting, we can see how they are sorting things and throwing the unwanted stuff out of their house. In between our eyes meet, and we smile at each other.

But our eyes have a different story to tell now.
Story of uncertainty and anxiety about who would be our new neighbor.
Though we label ourselves as optimistic people, I will miss them being around. And for unknowingly giving us the feeling of having a warm neighborhood.

Thank you, Mrs. & Mr. Silva!
You guys will be missed!

How I connected back to my soul…..

How I connected back to my soul…..

Years ago, I came across an article which talked about soul satisfaction. The writer had experienced how using meditation, she connected back to her soul.  It was like a homecoming for her.

Just a brief overview and I was eager enough to scroll. ‘Soul connection!’ -it sounded to be an alien term to me.

It can happen only to sages and saints. No! It’s not for you, for me, it’s their world!

It’s not that I did not believe in God, but I never had time to connect to the Universe. For me, God was only there when I had to crib and I needed someone to blame. ‘You don’t love me eh? I did not get this job? Why? Why are my things not getting sorted?’

I turned blind to all the good things and would curse my destiny for all the bad things happening.

I was not living my life, rather crawling through it.

I remember, someone once told me about a miraculous story of how she got a job. I made fun of him showing in all the logics and calculations behind his success. Miracles do not happen, not on this earth at least!

In short, I was someone who believed that I am here to live forever, old people have always been old, you can exploit your body for whatever reason you can and it would say nothing, and you are here on this planet to work, get married, have kids, get them married and die!

Life changed after I miscarried. Not everything looked the same!

Losing the first child was bad. Also, it did not fit my sequence of marrying and having kids. There was physical trauma, and a mental one too though I did not realize it then.

Weeks later after my appointment with my doctor, I was heartbroken only to know that my baby had a heartbeat. I felt like a part of me was lost. The thought that it was more than a flesh hit me hard.

I restlessly looked for some relief, for an answer to my questions!

Why did this happen to me?

Is there something more beyond this life?

Can things change so suddenly for anyone? My friends still have the same happy life though!

If the sequence of my life is not the one, I thought of or not the one everyone does, why am I here?

While everyone in my friend circle was planning for kids, switching jobs, and having fun, I was trying to solve the puzzle of life.

I still remember the day; I closed my eyes for praying. This time, it was different. It was not to curse the universe, not to ask something from God, and not to lure him by saying, ‘I will do this if you give me this.’

I just kept quiet.

I got a strong surge of emotions. It was different, it was divine. The flow of energy I had never experienced before! There were emotions I wanted to vent out but beneath it was something very calming, very peaceful. 

Those few moments of calmness were enough to understand what a soul connection meant. Those moments of stability had an unsaid communication with me saying, ‘Things are Okay. You will be fine. Everything will be fine’. I started looking for more of those moments. It was like something I had never experienced before. Though it did not have answers to all my questions, it gave me something I craved for.

There I started learning more about meditation. With 3 months of continuous practice, I could understand what is meant by ‘Homecoming’.

A calmer mind would give all the space to question my existence. With time, I learnt about how powerful prayers could be. I was widening my spiritual dimensions by meditation, prayers, reading books, writing.

There was more to life than to just run for a 9-5 job, have kids, and die! I learnt that everything which makes you feel lively is like a soul food. And we are here to see colours of life, learn from the mistakes, awaken our buried creativity and make the best of what life has to offer!

I do not regret my past, I do not regret not knowing what life was about, for whatever happened paved the way for where I am, and I am really proud that I am moving, and growing.

I believe we all need to broaden our spiritual dimension to feel alive!Many of us do it unknowingly, they do everything they love which keeps them alive and glowing.

But there are a certain set of people like me who was busy sorting out life and fixing its problem, and such people need a soul connection.

While there are ways to awaken yourself, it’s important to recognize what works for you. ‘Listening to music’, ‘Reading books’, ‘Walking in Nature’, ‘Dancing’- it can be anything.

Following are the things you can try:

  • Sitting in the park or outside for 10 minutes while listening to birds chirping.
  • Sitting idle in a chair or bed for a few minutes, and thinking about all the beautiful memories of past starting from childhood.
  • Dedicating a couple of minutes to do what you love. It can be as small as reading a book or gardening.
  • Praying for 10 minutes while connecting to the universe.
  • Taking out some time in the evening with your favorite coffee while watching the clouds moving.

While these are the things which have worked for me, you can definitely find something better, more natural to you. But the bottom line remains the same.

Connecting back to ourselves is like charging our battery, it is important to charge it before the light gets so dim that we get misguided by the puzzles of life!