As I am nearing the end of my journey I find myself struggling with mixed emotions. My mind if preoccupied with thoughts of back home. The papers I need to write, the preparations I need to make for school starting back, basically the work I have been neglecting for these past two months. These thoughts race through my head, and I catch myself worrying incessantly about things which cannot be helped 8,000 miles away.
During those same moments my heart aches. As I drove the seven hours from Chilakaluripet back to Vizag I watched the countryside fly past my window. We passed women in their saris working in the rice patties. Men behind oxen plowing fields, while the mountains graced the horizon. Going through the villages children walk single file carrying their backpacks home from school. Most of them are barefoot, and none of them looking over the age of ten.
Everything seems to slow down here. No one is in a hurry; it could even be said that time is irrelevant. Plans change constantly. At first this frustrated me greatly. Me, the punctual, always planning my days, slightly OCD, type A person that I am. But I realized in these moments of frustration that instead of trying to change it I should rather enjoy it for its own beauty.
Just because something is completely out of place in our own culture does not make it wrong. It may be different, but not necessarily wrong.
As I was thinking about these things the words of an old friend came to mind. He told me that you didn’t need a fancy camera to take great pictures. At first I didn’t believe him. I didn’t understand how you could get wonderful photographs with an ordinary camera. But realized that he was not just talking about photography. It is the way we view and perceive the world around us that really determines the outcome of not only our pictures, but life as well.
There is beauty all around us. But how often are we in such a hurry, focusing only on ourselves that we do not pause long enough to notice it? How many beautiful and precious moments are we wasting everyday because we are too worried about the details of life?
This is what I will miss the most about India. The simplicity of life. The ability, the calling, and the need to live it moment by moment.