Say Yes To Life — Choose Your Seasons Wisely

One vibrant morning, a conversation unfolded between my friend and me, wrestling with a moral dilemma she faced. The teaching, “Say Yes to life,” echoed in our thoughts, yet the situation seemed to defy this decree. Her sense of duty, her dharma, did not align with an unequivocal “Yes,” leading us to question the acceptability of uttering the decisive “No.” Our resolution, ultimately, was a firm stand: if it felt wrong for her, then that truth deserved unwavering respect.

The issue settled, but its essence lingered, persistently echoing within me, provoking contemplation long after the conversation ended.

For the past decade, I’ve called Delhi my home, a city of extreme climates – brutal winters, scorching summers, and a fleeting glimpse of spring, occasionally punctuated by brief showers. The ephemeral beauty of spring captivated me, but the truth was undeniable – escaping the challenging ten months of the year was futile. Adaptation became my strategy, and I chose to embrace winter as my “other” favorite. The experience was delightful – misty mornings with warm chai/coffee, brisk evenings around bonfires. Properly dressed, I found joy even in the midst of the winter chill. Still, the winter months were scarce, merely extending my period of enjoyment from two to four months.

Yet, a significant portion of my year remained in discomfort’s grip. Determined to reclaim my time, I made the bold choice to embrace summer, a decision not without its challenges. Over time, I discovered the beauty of long days, the unwavering sun, pleasant mornings for leisurely walks, and the simple pleasure of milkshakes. Remarkably, I expanded my favored months to eight out of twelve.

A memory resurfaced from my college years – an essay competition with an unusual twist. Participants were tasked with beginning their essays with a given sentence, a new one introduced every thirty minutes, demanding skillful adaptation. The sentences held little relevance to their chosen topics, causing predictable groans from the participants. However, one individual stood apart. At every new sentence, he exclaimed, “Excellent!” A curious response, given the challenge faced by all. Yet, he embraced the difficulty with a unique perspective and emerged victorious, his essay adapting seamlessly to every unexpected twist.

From the vantage point of my apartment rooftop, a cherished Silk Cotton Tree caught my eye. Witnessing her transformations throughout the seasons – the bare elegance of winter, the vibrant bloom of spring, and the enduring warmth of summer – left a profound impact. I realized I adored her, regardless of the season. She exuded life unconditionally, embracing each season’s unique character without anticipation or resentment. Her vitality flowed through every season, her occasional blossom a natural expression of her year-round existence. She was not a prisoner of any single season; she lived every moment, fully alive.

“Saying yes to life” transcends mere choices; it’s a testament to how we navigate those choices. Life often decides for us, and the tree imparts a lesson in surrendering preferences, aligning with the rhythm of life’s offerings. It encourages us to live wholeheartedly, embracing each moment with a resounding “Yes,” just as the Silk Cotton Tree does, gracefully dancing through the seasons, embodying life’s magnificent symphony.

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