The past two days, I have gone on a morning walk with my daughter for about half an hour each day. One of the nice things about walking with a two-and-half year old is that you have to walk quite slowly. Slow walking helps in multiple ways – for one, it somehow makes you be more in the moment. And if you have a daughter like mine who loves to incessantly mutter, you also tend to listen more carefully than you would otherwise. Finally, it helps you notice your surroundings much more.
There’s a fair bit of shrubbery and weeds that have overgrown on a few vacant plots behind my apartment. That, I have noticed in the past, but what I hadn’t noticed as much before was the extent to which they were teeming with butterflies. I think I enjoyed the experience even more so than my daughter. We stopped a bit, crouched on the road and watched them fly around, impatiently flitting from one leaf to the other – it is as if a gentle whiff of air is sufficient to distract a butterfly from its agenda. Brown, orange, white, pale blue, yellow – a riot of colors with brown predominant. A bright green one too that appeared a bit uncommon, at least to my eyes.
Last weekend, when I went bird watching with the Bangalore birders group at Shivanahalli, we saw these caterpillars floating in the air, literally dozens of them making their way down to the ground (from whichever leaf they were originally perched) on a single silky strand of thread that they wove literally millimeter by millimeter. We weaved our way around them, admiring the beautiful, yet delicately fragile show that they had put on for us.
Lao Tzu said "Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished". Even such a small thing as a morning walk can remind us of that in remarkable ways. All it takes is that we not hurry too.