The third week of March saw the spring announcing itself in the blossoms of potted plants from my balcony garden, bushes around my apartment, and trees all over the city. So did the flutter of the new green cover on the grey and bare trees. Morning sounded chirpier with a host of my feathery friends singing gaily. All kinds of bees said hello every now and then. But I had no time to indulge in all these pleasures, for…

…for April was inching closer and I was stuck in the ‘to be or not to be’ dilemma. It had been a break of two years from my last A2Z participation. The only driving force this time was my love for my adopted country of current residence, France! Apart from that, I had a clean slate (of preparation) to embark on the challenge. Love conquers all and it did. I jumped into the A2Z challenge with two and a half posts readiness, two days before the start. I intended to write about 8 beautiful cities from lesser-known parts of France that I had visited in the last 2 years.

Thirty days of April made me busy in and around 26 alphabets, so much so that I lost the touch with the world around me. My existence was confined to thoughts in my brain, recollecting various places that I had visited, and my laptop. I persisted and much to my respite and surprise, I finished the challenge well in time. ‘Enervation’ was my first and ‘vacuum’ my middle name by the end of April!  

To bring the needle of sense of reality from its dislocated position to the normal, I had to do something. I decided to start the morning walk routine. There is a small park near my house. Rather most of the neighbourhoods have at least one park, whether big or small, for recreation, here in Lyon. With much zeal in my feet, I circled the park thrice before the green grass invited me for some stretching. At that very moment, the idea of meditating struck me, and I toed it.

Adjusting my position on the dew-drenched lawn, I closed my eyes. The smell of the grass underneath me filled my lungs as I directed my attention to my breath. The gentle rustling of the leaves dotted with chirps of the birds stoked the feeling of bliss. The balmy yellow sunshine reaching through my closed eyelids was sweeping all the thoughts that crisscrossed my mind space. Suddenly my ears picked up a harsh sound reaching from the canal side of the park. The donnybrook din acquired a giant appetite eating all the tranquillity that I had experienced just a moment before. I tried hard to ignore it. My efforts to turn deaf ears to it had a relationship of direct proportion to it.

The thought of meditation sublimated quickly. The moment I opened my eyes, curiosity grabbed me by the neck and pulled me to the canal side to find the source of the cacophonous adversary. A quick search through the tall wild grass in the bed of the canal led me to an amazing discovery.

There was a whole army of green quadrupeds aka Monsieur Frog(s). They were wooing Madame Frog(s) with the best lilting gyrations that their vocal cords and vocal sacs could produce! Each one was engaged in one-upmanship to solicit the most desirable and suitable dame! I could imagine their spotted green quadruped fair sex swooning to those supposedly endearing romantic calls. How I wished the dames succumbed to the calls at the earliest!

What could be the melodious music to their ears was nothing but a nuisance to me. I was very much unsettled by the chorus croaking which was rising in tempo with every passing second. The only option was to leave the park. So did I!

Near my apartment, while I was returning at one signal a car zipped past. Its blaring woofers disagreed with the quiet surroundings. I could catch a glimpse of the bobbing head of the driver who obviously was enjoying the music. The clamorous sound trailed the booming car a little lazily.

Both these experiences ushered to my shore the maxim, “one man’s food is another man’s poison‘. That very afternoon I picked up the book “The Journey Home” by Radhanath Swami, from where I had left it a month before. To my surprise, I came across the same phrase, “one man’s food is another man’s poison’, where Radhanath Swami had narrated one of his experiences while following the call of his heart!

I am yet to fully comprehend this coincidence. Coincidently the Five Minute Friday prompt for this week is ‘both‘! Now, what should I call this?

 This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up

PS: Though the idea is to write for exact 5 minutes, I couldn’t stop at 5 minutes. I had to flush out all these thoughts occupying my grey matter which were making a commotion up there.


aschmeisser · May 6, 2022 at 6:26 pm

The last time that I was in France
’twas with shovel and a map,
looking for that fell sky-dance
of long ago, that laid a trap
for a son of England’s best
who flew against the Nazi horde,
and in dying passed the test,
and also passed along his sword
to the pimpled callow youth
who stepped to duty, unafraid
and believing in the truth
of which a decent life is made
followed on with verve and will
to grave upon a Norman hill.

Yamini Ali MacLean · May 6, 2022 at 9:25 pm

Hari OM
…well, this Vedantaachaarya would say to you that meditation can take place even sitting on a traffic island, for the silence must start from within. But let’s not get existential here and enjoy that coming together of disparate routes to an aphorism upon which you can reflect for some time… the another’s preference of enivironment may not be one’s own!!! YAM xx

My Life in Our Father's World · May 7, 2022 at 2:40 am

I love it when God shows me the same thing in a variety of ways. That way, I know that I need to pay attention!

Matheikal · May 7, 2022 at 6:11 am

Now that April is over, I wonder how I managed those 26 posts.

Back to more normal life now, I’m picking up the book which I had left half-read in March.

riverkath · May 9, 2022 at 12:07 pm

I would say the Lord is trying to show you something. He does that with me too. Shows me many little things that all tie in together until I ‘get it’. Keep seeking and you will find the answer.

Pradeep · May 9, 2022 at 7:29 pm

A good anecdote to illustrate the aphorism.
Post-book blues

Sandra K Stein · May 13, 2022 at 1:52 am

Your post made me smile.
Thanks for sharing.

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