Renovations are happening at my house, and somehow it’s easy to tune out the sound of drilling. It’s a good reason to take a break and go for a walk. Yesterday I grabbed a latte (the new pistachio latte from Starbucks) from the drive-through and went for a walk at Old Quarry Trail, a beautiful place for hikes and bird-watching. There were only a handful of people there, and I loved having the trails to myself.

Old Quarry Trail, Kanata, ON

I was so refreshed when I came home – getting outside and ‘forest bathing’ really is the cure for all ills.

I’m so excited to read The Forest of Enchantments by one of my favourite authors, Chitra Divakaruni Banerjee (who also wrote The Palace of Illusions). I’ve been waiting a long time for this book… seven years actually, since she first announced her plans to write it. It’s the story of the Ramayana, from the perspective of Sita – her agonies, regrets, love story with her husband Ram, her immense courage, and reasons behind her decisions. My friend Mansi messaged me yesterday, and she’s going to read it too.. she actually ordered it while we were chatting! Here is a a preview of the book, the first few pages are quite riveting. The author initially thought she would write it much sooner, but she left it because she felt as though it was too big an undertaking. It’s only when a close family friend was rushed to the ICU did she realize that time is precious – this is what got her to come back to writing.

Mansi asked when my book is being published and I had forgotten that I’d shared that on Facebook. “It’s on hold right now,” I replied, knowing deep inside that I should get back to reading and writing, entering that magical portal where time has no hold on you.

Ok, here goes… I’m opening my draft…

… breathe in

It feels good to be back in.

And now the doubts creep in… Hmmmm can I really share that? What will people think? Do I really want to do this? Do I have the time?

… breathe out

Here is the first paragraph of my poetic version of the Ramayana:

It was not the best of times.
Chaos erupted all over earth,
Men fought battles in every land, and women’s shrieks could be heard
far and wide at the mercy of evil men.
There was scarcity of food and spirit, stifling of morality,
and each man in an attempt to protect himself,
Lost his sense of integrity.

What do you think? Are you intrigued? :-) Hee hee! I once told my writing teacher, Kelli Deeth, about my idea to tell the story of Sita, and she said, “Don’t ignore that voice. Do it.” At the time, I also had the desire to tell the love story of Krishna and Radha from the perspective of Radha, and my own life story as the third volume. Hmmm it seems I need to live many lives in order to do all that I want to do. Is this anxiety, torture, or is it passion? And is there even a difference?

My Mom and I have been watching the Crown and are lost in the world of the Royals. What lives they led. Queen Elizabeth, from a very young age, took part in royal duties and watched her Dad in earnest, learning a lot, helping him out and giving public addresses – not knowing at the time that it wouldn’t be long until she would need to apply all that knowledge herself.

As for our current time, the world as it is now, the default is to focus on what’s in the news, which is mostly about Trump and his antics. Only 8 more days to go!

Some silver linings. The vaccine against Covid-19 became the fastest developed vaccine in history. Israel has already vaccinated nearly 2 million people and India is planning to vaccinate 300 million by July. Not sure when we’ll be getting the vaccines here in Canada – hopefully by the summer!

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