The mountains are calling, and I cannot go

Social distancing was not such a bad idea for introverts. The fact that you did not have to meet people too much was a big step towards the re-energization of the soul. But as the days started to pass, the yearning to go out became too great. For the outdoors hold much more than just people; there are trees that have risen from the winter slumber, the flowers that are reborn and the colors that have sprouted everywhere.

Corona threatened us just as spring was spreading its arms to kiss our ravaged hearts with the warming breeze. Spring was here to soothe our frost burns with a delightful sun and fill our hearts with satisfaction and joy. Despite this, we willingly walked indoors, knowing in our hearts that this too would pass. Charming indeed is the gradual yet steady arrival of life. We looked on from our windows, rubbing our hands in anticipation, in a wild desire that we would soon delightfully soak our body and soul in the spirit of spring! The winters were beautiful yet cruel and hard indeed are the nights of our land.

Hope is the word that is written on the skies every March. Oh! the inexplicable delight of running among the smiling daisies of the meadows, of dipping our feet in the cool, refreshing streams that appear directly from the heart of the heavens and watching the eruption of colors everywhere! Despite all this, we waited, patiently looking out of our golden cages, and watched. We watched the pattering rain assist in sprouting life, we watched the clouds shift shapes, we watched the moon change phases and poof, just like that the precious spring was gone! The tulips withered away waiting for admirers who never arrived and the blooming almond tress of Badamwari faded, pining for families to sit and laugh under their shade.

With the growing heat of the sun, our yearning grew. Ramadan came and went, the ache in our hearts remained. And then summer arrived. It is more powerful than the gentle spring and ever since it is forcing us to throw open our windows and look out!

We now wonder how well the slopes of Gulmarg would be sparking, how the rivulets and brooks of Sonmang would be gaining power, how everything would be alive and lush green! The migratory birds would have returned home by now, but our own winged friends would be creating much music in Dachigam among the pines and deodars. Butterflies would be busy too like the bees, fluttering from flower to flower and helping life expand. The lofty mountains that we can still see at a distance have shed their white robes, but their skull cap is still on gleaming under the startling sun!  Fruit trees are getting laden now, the strawberries and cherries want plucking.

Yet here we are, looking on as our world has wrapped itself in rainbow colors. Nature, like every year, has bedecked itself in its best and is luring us out. Summer is calling, the mountains are calling, and we hold up our hands and ask them to wait a little longer. We are looking on with sad faces and rounded eyes hoping against hope that we could throw our selves into the welcoming arms of Mother Nature once again. Our patience is running out. We dream of basking under the summer sun to our hearts content before everything turns grey again. We hope we pluck the wildflowers before the snowy blanket buries them. Hope still dances in our hearts and it shall sustain us a little longer.

Dr Ambreen Hamadani  is Faculty of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry, SKUAST- Kashmir