Today, for the first time, I was one with the village folk. When I woke up in the morning, I had a subtle feeling that something had changed. I noticed a slight shift in the air from being hot, sticky, and otherwise static to being hot and sticky, but along with a delicate dance, a faint stir. This was such a subtle perception – subtle, that is, to my previously dull senses. I would not have noticed this before, nor could I have, for I was never really in touch (I now realize) with my surroundings.
I had a deep-seated feeling that came to the forefront of my mind about a minute after I noticed the change in the air, and the word attached to this feeling was rain. I had an innate feeling that it would rain. And I knew it for certain; the knowledge came to me without a doubt. I just knew. It was the same knowledge that someone with perfect pitch has of middle C hit on a piano. He knows innately that it is middle C, without any need of proof or verification. To him, it simply is, the same way we know certain frequencies of light to be blue, red, etc. We can identify them just by looking at them, and we need not verify with someone else before we are sure. It was the same knowledge that the villagers here have of their environment.
When the lady who cleans my room came to my room today around 3:00 PM, she said, “It’s going to rain today.” And I replied, “I KNOW!” (I replied in English first in my excitement, so she was sort of confused, but then I told her what I experienced.) We both knew, despite the fact that it was still completely sunny outside at the time, with no hint of dark clouds anywhere on the horizon. It was the first time I could relate to her on that point – before, she would always come in and say, “It’s going to rain,” and I would never know how she knew – she always claimed that she felt it in the air. But today, I felt it too. I realized that this is what it means to be in touch with nature. I learned, for the first time, that I can sense changes in the environment. It reminded me of the way Legolas or Aragorn from Lord of the Rings sensed changes in their environments with just their own intuition.
Sure enough, as I write this very post, it is raining heavily outside. The students are jumping for joy, shouting and whistling at the auspicious coming of rain, despite the fact that the rain interrupted their precious game of cricket.
The people who live close to nature innately have the ability to sense changes in the environment, and be in touch with their intuition in that regard. They develop a respect for the forces of nature and rejoice at her tremendous power. However, we who have lost that ability fall prey to such natural phenomena like the Tsunami of ’06 or Hurricane Katrina. I don’t have a solution to this problem, as we cannot escape our lives living in big cities for long enough to develop such a capacity. We must continue to rely on the weather channel or the newscaster to tell us what will happen; we must continue to rely on predictions made by machines about changes in the environment rather than on our own innate perception and intuition. I cannot offer some sort of “reform” that we can make in our lives to become in touch with nature while living in a big city. But what I do have to say is that for those who are fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity to undergo such a transformation, take it; the ability to be in touch and in harmony with nature is easily one of the most rewarding experiences one can have.