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A Waltz of Flowers
|by Abhijit Laghate|
Walking through the woods, I spied a little clearing some distance ahead. Wending my way around a turn, I saw a barred gate to what seemed like a pasture. The wooden planks were showing their age, but what caught my attention was the bright and shiny new assemblage of metal wires and insulating studs, peeking out from the other side. That was on the side of the pasture, rather than the trail that I was traipsing along. Funny, I thought. But looking up and beyond, all these thoughts just melted away from me. The scene was wider than eyes could encompass in one glance. Not just eyes but mind, too. It was like looking out of a window in the screen thrown by the woods, opening on to the wide world. The brightly-lit grassland was like vast green velvety carpet rolled out in front of me. The meadow was sloping, sloping up and away from me. Up and up away it went until it seemingly met the sky, not half a mile from where I was! The swaying green masses of leaves of grass at that edge were fluttering like flags proclaiming the joy of the union.
The day was sunny and clear. The sun was behind me, momentarily hid behind a passing cloud. The expanse of sky beyond the edge of the grassy knoll was clear blue with only a few wasps of clouds wandering about. Just then one of them peeked, lifting a white-topped head, straining take to look beyond the edge, as if checking on me wondering who the intruder was. Satisfied, it once again bent down to its work, disappearing behind the hillock. With the gentle breeze caressing my face, I leaned against the gate, keeping a careful distance away from those wires.
The meadow was on the slope of a knoll bounded on two sides by the wood, meeting at the juncture where I was standing. The other two were given up to the care of the unbounded sky. At the corner on the right, I could just see the roof of a barn, standing in the slant of the next valley. Near the edge
of woods a pair of horses were grazing, contentedly. A fine pair it looked. Ah, that explained the wired mess! It was meant to stop the horses from wondering into the woods, not to merely prevent nosey intruders like me. I pulled out the water bottle from the pack. Sipping, I listened to the birdcalls. In the middle of the day, it was not a bedlam of sounds, more like a call pealing off from time to time. But I could hear a number of different notes, distinct and repeating. Was that the call of the bright red bird with dark beak that I had just seen? And that rhythmic beating on the wood could be nothing but a woodpecker busy in its world!
A sudden gust of wind made the trees creak and the leaves bustle. Waves danced up and down, running amuck in all directions on the lush greenery of the verdant pasture. And with these danced the yellow wildflowers spotting the landscape, throwing their heads in the wind, bucking with glee! A giant, gnarly, grandfatherly oak was guarding the sprightly trees and clumps gathered around him at the other end of the veldt, where it met with the wood and the sky.
I reclined luxuriously against the spartan support of the gateposts. My head drooped and came to relax on the arms folded on the top railing. The riotous bloom of the violet and white wildflowers that had accompanied me along the trail for some time now, had ventured over the manmade barrier into the meadow. What did they care? And wasn’t it the springtime, the celebration of life? Who could stop us, they seemed to ask in chorus, keeping tune to the fluttering breeze. And the lonely butterfly with bright yellow and blue flashes on its wing seemed to agree! Unmindful of the playful dance of the flowers, nay positively relishing it, it went about what it does best... flitting from one tiny flower to another and on to the next! Cuddling and caressing, snuggling and hugging, sipping the intoxicating brew of life! There comes the other... it came skipping from the bushes beyond to join up with its soul's mate. Then started the dance in tandem, whirling and twirling in unison, crazy and delightful, running circles round each other, playing hopscotch among the blossom. A veritable Waltz Of Flower! Funny, I thought, the honeydew that suddenly misted my eyes is no use to them, only
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