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© 2019 Jeska Onderwater 

Mother India Welcomes Me

September 12, 2017

Sitting at the doorstep, eyes half closed. My head a little foggy from traveling, my heart beating peacefully, steadily. The sound of water streaming down, a singing bowl, sweet laughter. The full moon shines in all her glory above the tall, green trees and clouds move around it. Behind me a field in which thousands of fireflies compose a firework so subtle and abundant like I have never seen before. The air is warm, the birds are chirping loud. Candles around me, the smell of incense, cinnamon and flowers flows into my nostrils. Mother India, I have finally set foot on your sweet land. You feel like home. I sense a very high energy in the air here in the jungle around Rishikesh, close to the holy Ganges river. Mystical, deep, alive, present.

 

Being picked up at the airport this morning by the most calm and serene driver who didn't share many words, I enjoyed being in a silent space together as the land unfolding around me. Everything looks so strangely familiar that I'm wondering whether we are really in India until I see a couple of cows randomly walking on the road. After a beautiful drive through green forest, along the Ganges and up the mountain in many serpentines we arrive at the side of the road where I am greeted with “Namaste” by a young man. He helps me with my luggage and we start walking up a steep path next to the road.

 

I watch every step as we proceed, exchanging some heartwarming smiles with a few women that pass on our way. I cannot count amount of butterflies that fly around and ahead of me, leading the way, as if they whisper: Jeska, follow us, this is the way to transformation, follow us!

 

Sensing, I practice coming back to sensing every moment again and again. It is the joy and the balm of my life. It is. Whatever comments my thoughts give on it, are not very relevant. The words I attached to India echo in my mind: “expect the unexpected”. Funny, how I was ready for the craziest chaos, noises, crowds of people. But it has been one of the most peaceful arrivals of my life and I am chuckling as I write this. Could it have been more unexpected?

The thought of rooting in this land for quite some months to come is surreal to me right now. And at the same time, on this very first evening, it feels like part of me has always been here.

 

Some days later I wake up to the sound of streaming water as the morning light shines into my little hut. In my mouth the aftertaste of sweet chai tea and delicious paneer dosa with coconut chutney. Skin is warm, glowing, waking up to a new day. Some kind of golden, sweet liquid that is called India is pouring into every cell of my being, as if milk and honey are running through my veins.

 

Yesterday evening, the same scenario as some days ago: I am in the taxi with the calm driver up the hill from Rishikesh town to the oasis in the jungle where I stay. Same same but different. This time it is dark, there might be elephants on the road and I am sharing the backseat with four women that I have come to love deeply in just a few days of retreat together. We are silent, eyes closing often, as the rhythm of the road sways us into sleep.

 

Down the steep mountain road streams the river Ganga in a mystical, powerful way with the remnants of the full moon shining down on her. We attended the daily Ganga ritual in Rishikesh this evening. I observed a high energy around the holy river, the whole day my body seemed to be loaded with golden electricity, letting me glow from inside out. Walking slowly through Rishikesh where the mystics have been meditating for decades and people come to go deeper within. On every corner an ashram, Ayurveda store or yoga class presents itself as groups of cows cross my path. It feels as if I am floating, so light and aware, like my feet aren't really touching the earth. And yet there is a pleasure in actually observing the way my body weight presses onto the earth and shifts from one foot to another. As if I am carressing this land as I walk, so softly and gently, but with presence. Taking in the smells, sounds, tastes, sights and energy of mother India. I am exactly where I need to be. India, here I am.

 

Back home I lie down on my bed. Full of everything. The bucket with milk and honey is overflowing. Gratitude. Trust. Acceptance. “Welcome to incredible India Jeska” I tell myself silently as the universe unfolds around me and I drift off into a deep, deep sleep.

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