Welcome to inmyNature

Hello and welcome to the random musings  overactive mind. Thank you for sharing with me my little micro-world of the flora and the fauna that make me so happy to be alive.. a snapshot of this overwhelmingly beautiful blue planet with a million hues of green that I am lucky to inhabit.

Imagination is such a wonderful thing. It can recreate the ordinary, transform the mundane, and be, quite literally, the safe keeper of your sanity.

One of my most favourite stories, and a particular anecdote I take great inspiration from when things get a bit heavy, is the one of Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment. So much about this personality to me is awe inspiring. To choose in the face of choicelessness. To stay motivated in the face of darkness. To rest lightly in the grip of bondage.

This must be the ultimate freedom. This must be how true liberation tastes. To be influenced and guided, not by what lies outside of you, but the richness of your own mind. True power.  Hmm.. Exciting.  How precious then, is this ability to think. To imagine. To paint a new picture on the canvas of your mind.   To see, in your mind’s eye, outside of the compelling ‘what is’. To transform; to mould reality to fit the filter through which you choose to see in any given moment.   Rantings of a delusional mind? But, ah such freedom!

So there will be a bit of that too. Wild imaginings, wayward rantings, thoughts that would flit across my mind and disappear forever into the ethers, if I didn’t grab on like a shaman hovering over a child’s bed with a dream catcher.  What can I say, it’s inmyNature. As the famous linguist, Hutt K. Hinglish said, we are like this only.

My hope for this blog is that it will serve as my dream catcher. It will be my attempt to honour all those parts of me, (and certainly you, since you have chosen to visit, 🙂  ) that make us feel free and powerful and happy.. a fertile imagination and a love for all things wild and free.

So here’s to the wonderful gift of human imagination. And to all the elements of Nature that make us blessed to walk this stunningly beautiful planet. May we all tread gently.  And may I, now, and for all lifetimes more, be privileged enough to live on a planet that is blessed with God’s beautiful, wild critters… and God’s beautiful, wild imagination.

July 2016

 

Ode to a Cheetah

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We found you lying indolently on top of a dilapidated termite mound close to the road, in an obscure corner of the dry savannah. Looking like nothing on Earth was going to make you move from your spot. Your beautiful body blazing gold in the sun, unperturbed by the world going by.  Lazing, recouping, recharging your energy.  

Or so we imagined.  Perhaps you were doing more than languishing lazily in the mid morning sun, while the crazy humans around you buzzed with excitement and shutters clicked wildly in anticipation of that perfect shot of your feline grace. Were you all the while communing in sweet serenity with your own omnipresence? Did you offer up silent prayers for the display of that stealth and deadly precision that would, a few minutes later, leave us dumfounded and gasping for air?

How did you spot that stag on the other side of the plain? The one with the magnificent antlers. Did you see him from the vantage point that was your mound? Or did your keen sense of smell single him out first?

Whichever it may have been, shivers shot through my body watching your sleepy inertia transform in a microsecond to rapt attention, as you stood up tall in all your molten-gold glory, to zone in, unwavering, on your target.

The deliberation with which you crossed over to the field where the unsuspecting gazelle grazed, completely unaware of impending danger, made me thankful for the prime seats we had to watch the saga unfold. Stealthily you crept closer, even closer to where the stag stood, chewing steadily. It must have been his keen sense that alerted him to the cloud of death hovering overhead. Is that what made him stop and stare, stock still, straight ahead in his predator’s direction? Cleverly, you stopped too. The golden ghost, deftly camouflaged in tall grasslands of spun gold.

It felt like I had an aerial view of that endless moment of complete stillness. Prey facing you. You facing prey. A pregnant interlude filled to the brim with the deafening sound of silence. That moment of respectful greeting between two worthy opponents in a martial arts dojo before the start of combat.

And then he ran.

Not away from you. He ran towards you! He had not seen you then, poor, unfortunate soul. Or so he seemed to me, who understands nothing of the incorporeal contract between hunter and the hunted.

He recovered from this mistake as quickly as he could on spotting you and sped away in the opposite direction, but with your proclivity for driving home the advantage, it would prove fatal only a few seconds later.   A few hapless zigzags, and you seemed to know exactly where he would go. Each time you were there before he had a chance. Maybe it was a trick of the mind but you seemed to magically appear before him to cut off his escape route and cause him to change direction before you teleported to a completely different spot.

Did you even run or did you glide?

And then you sprang. He was wise then, to have made his contract with a creature such as you. Deft, proficient, swift like a bullet train would be hard pressed to be. He was wise not to suffer. For in picking you, he left himself no scope for fear or pain. Twenty seconds of adrenaline coursing through his veins and it was all over. Did you see something akin to awe in his eyes before they closed forever?

And what of us, silent spectators? Stupefied, spellbound. Struggling to work out how you had made it look so easy. The thousand questions in our mind numbed by the splendour of the spectacle that we were privileged to behold.

We did not simply watch a chase that day. Some of us fortunate humans witnessed you harness the power of your creator. That morning you were the Universe and the Universe was inside you.  And I learnt. From watching you in awestruck wonder. I learnt how I want to live my life. In easy and knowing calmness. And in total acceptance of the universal power from which you and I both came.

My regret that I didn’t bring my wide angle to hand to capture the power and beauty of that hunt is frivolous. I know, one mistimed moment, and I’d have missed the opportunity to imprint forever your inner beauty on the sensor of my mind. This way I can see it all in slow motion in my mind’s eye each time I replay the scene. Like a movie with flashing sub-titles. Power. Assurance. Clarity. Instinct.   

Magnificent beast. Stay by me and be my totem.

A truly blessed New Year’s morning

Gaur

I woke up early on 1st January 2015 to see a male gaur disappearing down the road from our room. Feeling particularly adventurous, I grabbed up my camera to see if I could get a shot from a safe distance.

When I got round the bend, I looked down the road and found no trace of the gaur. I had just hastened my pace to see if it had made its way across the stream onto a perpendicular road when, less than a nine-yard sari away, I found myself staring squarely into the face of stately, but rather severe looking, Bos gaurus.
Silently tucked away in a cranny off the main road, looming like a spectre, sporting horns that looked like they could influence quite a painful bottom, it watched earnestly as I reached deep down into my larynx to squeak my friendliest ‘hello’, did the quickest about-turn of my life and ‘walked’ away as unperturbed as my feet would allow me to pretend to be.

Obviously Boss bore me no ill will for coming upon him so suddenly, because a few minutes later he had come back down the same road he had left earlier, and stood no more than thirty feet from our room, allowing me to get a huge collection of shots before walking calmly away into the forest.

I watched in fascination how surely his white-socked limbs manoeuvred his huge bulk over paths that should be entirely too narrow to negotiate; thankful for such a special morning. His huge form got smaller and smaller until the might of the jungle swallowed him completely and I only had photographs to prove I hadn’t dreamt the whole thing.

The largest species of wild cattle, gaur have been known to live up to 30 years in captivity. With well developed hearing and eyesight, it is their sense of smell which is their most remarkable power.

P.S. I have reason to believe this gaur liked my pheromones. 😉

 

Pretty puppy ‘Pluto’

Kerala 2014

Puppy Pluto
Only little Pluto seemed to know she was a baby girl before we saw her. The plan now is to rename her Plooty. 🙂 She has a springy, jaunty little skipping gait that can lift your spirits in a microsecond. Meeting her made an already awesome day just a little bit better.

Home free!

TOADS

Kerala, December 2014

I had the privilege of spending some quality time with this rather dashing gentleman; unfortunately I was not aware at the time of our association that said time was being spent.

After readjusting my leech sock a couple of times because my left shoe felt a little more snug than previous days, we came back from our morning trek and found the leeches had found our boots particularly seductive that morning.  He toppled against my hand after the morning trek when I was knocking, off my shoes, the leeches to which we had just rendered a salty demise.

Certainly helpful to both toes and toads to wear trekking boots a size bigger than you need!

Rude as the initial shock may have been for both of us, I assume he was as happy to escape unhurt as I was to discover that my left foot had not grown a size bigger in my sleep.
(I actually don’t know that he is a he, it just tells well.. 😉 )

Also a useful reminder to avoid rookie mistakes like putting on your boots without checking for creepy crawlies.. all of which may not be as benign as my friendly neighbourhood froggie..

Musical Forests

If I had to pick my favourite colour, I think I might have to say ‘Green’. Just the thought of a dense tropical forest with greens in a million different shades makes everything alright. I can actually close my eyes and smell the grass, hear it sing, feel the dewdrops on my feet as I walk barefoot in its freshness.

Do you hear grass sing? Fair enough:). But doesn’t just looking at a lush green garden make the frames per second drop drastically in your mind? Any shade of green. Sitting on a bench in the neighbourhood park, staring at the trees swaying in the wind, somehow nothing seems quite as pressing in the moment. A brisk walk outdoors, getting outside and breathing in some fresh air, all seem to be pretty universal relaxants.

I wonder what it is about the outdoors that takes us back to our roots.. Makes the madness stop for just a little bit.. allows a languishing in the present like during a deep meditation.. a moment of equanimity.

I have an almost obsessive interest in, if only a high-school level knowledge of Physics. And

the concept of the vibrational nature of the universe absolutely holds me captive!.. That everything we see, don’t see, smell, don’t smell, touch and don’t touch, vibrates to a particular frequency is simply magical! Stones, paper planes, cans, mirrors, buildings.. But not just everyday objects, oh no.. Music, dance, water, smells, the body’s cells, thought, emotion, art, song, colour! Everything!

Colours vibrate at particular frequencies.. Fascinating to actually think about, right? What frequency does a green leaf vibrate to, or blue waters, or clear skies?

I love living in the age of the search engine. Answers at your fingertips. Think of colours as waves of energy. The waves our eyes can pick up form part of the ‘visible spectrum’.

So Google tells me the human eye can detect frequencies roughly between 400 and 780 Terrahertz (THz).

That’s equivalent to wavelengths between about 400 and 750 nanometers (nm) and includes all the colours of the rainbow from violet to red. (For a great explanation on the relationship between frequencies and wavelengths, go to https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Xu6hbS2TLSw.)

The frequencies at which something would appear to us as green, range from approximately 526 THz (yellow greens) to 606 THz (bluer greens).

To put it simply, when a wave vibrates at a frequency between 526 and 606 THz, our eyes interpret it as green. This also means that ‘shades’ of colour need our eyes to interpret the subtle difference in wavelengths.

Which is also why we see colours so differently. My mother and I can never agree on whether something is navy blue or black. I think she might have the edge on perceiving the subtlety of navy blue that my eyes can’t quite seem to pick up. Tell her I said that and there will be stout denial.

Sorry to go off on a little rant here, but an interesting thought just struck – incidentally, according to eastern philosophy, green is the colour of the Heart Chakra.. the Chakra that sits right in the centre of the 3 higher Chakras,connecting us to spirit, and the three lower Chakras that connect us to the tangible and give us a firm footing in the world we live in. Here’s a picture off http://stevenmcfall.com/modules/com_gcalendar/chakra-colours-370.html to help visualise.

ChakraSystem

So the Heart Chakra, the fulcrum, the Chakra of balance the ‘Anahata’ (the Sanskrit word for  ‘unhurt, unstruck, unbeaten’), is symbolised by green. Hmm. Lots of little jigsaw pieces falling into place. I now have a sort of Tetris of all-green pieces going on in my mind. And it occurs to me: can you begin to imagine just how many colours there must be out there that we CAN’T see? Probably as many sounds as we can’t hear. (Maybe grass does sing?)

So.

Seven colours in a rainbow.

Seven colours in the main energy centres of a human body.

Perhaps even in the seven chords in a musical scale then?

😱

VIBGYOR! Never have you fascinated me more. Before. For sure you make me want to soar.

Which brings us to .. what’s our auditory range?

The human ear picks up sound vibrations between 20 and 20000 Hz. (Keeping it simple, you can tell just by the unit there that sounds audible to us are a much lower frequency than the light visible to us, right? Hertz versus Terrahertz?)

This time Google took me to a really cool website. Check out http://www.flutopedia.com/sound_color.htm. Much as all my ‘discoveries’ from the spiralling thoughts in my head may be exciting to me, there’s obviously a lot of people out there who’ve been there, done that. Obviously much research has gone into studying the relationship between sound and colour frequencies.

Here is one time I wish I understood more about music. I’m sure it would reveal some pretty radical information. What I can tell you from what I understand from some of the stuff I scrolled through is that certain notes, when played at a certain pitch, vibrate at the same frequency as particular shades of green. Change the pitch and the note vibrates to another colour. Check out the website and look at the greens that show up, like for C3 at 900 Hz and D3 at 100 Hz.

So now. Indulge me. Imagine walking through a lush green forest. Taking in all the different shades. Every green you’ve imagined and some you never could. Your brainwaves slowly slip into alpha. Time slows down. Your heartbeat steadies.A warm, calm feeling soaks through you. Your breathing is deep and regular.

Now imagine you put on a pair of headphones playing music that resonates to the same frequencies as the shades of green you can see as you stroll.

Does everything suddenly seem more intense?  Your brain is now processing, at once, visual as well as auditory information that seems to be producing a similar output! Can you even imagine the effect of these harmonies on your cumulative senses??  Wow, double whammy! Brainwaves jumping from alpha to theta, theta to delta!! Talk about sensory overload! Talk about a crash course in meditation! You may get a little taste of how Nirvana might feel.  You might even levitate into the treetops like a happy green helium balloon. 🙂

Watch out for those poky branches and send us a postcard if you do, eh?

Collage musical forests