Look Up (or Down) More

|Author: Vero|

I look down at yet another recharge well, standing in Cubbon Park with Tessa, Eric, Kayla, and a new Biome intern named Dennis. We're 3.5 hours, 15,000 steps, 7.5 miles in - and Tessa is currently painting the number 18. There's 73 wells total. Only 55 more to go.

I'm looking down, at my feet sinking into the sand on Candolim beach in Goa, watching my toes press ever so slightly into the wet sand, which is damp enough to hold my feet without letting them sink but soft enough that my footprints trace back behind me. I'm focused on the shells in the sand, shielding my face from the sun.

I'm looking down, at the fairly large, silvery yellow snake turning away from me and slithering into a hole, standing on a ledge on the edge of a lake in Cubbon Park, as our guide tells us there are 200 more of these scale-y friends in the leaves and bushes around us.

I look down, at my chest, four days after that walk on the beach, still horribly burnt from sunscreen that wasn't sunscreen at all and a UV index of 12 -  touching my sunburn every few seconds in the hopes that it'll magically stop burning and raging at me.

I'm looking up at the stars, walking down the streets of old Goa on Friday night, in a town that takes you from Brazil to Italy to India in a single block. I follow the vines climbing up the bricks of the partially demolished building, to the crashed-in roof, to the constellations we so rarely get to see in Bangalore.

I look up, from the well in Cubbon Park to see one of most amazing trees I've ever seen. It spreads, strong and wide, a single trunk transforming into a giant network of branches, too big for my camera range to capture. It stretches out, reaching to meet its friends, growing adjacent to them but never on top or over them.

I've looked up in other instances, to see the intricate patterns that the leaves in this park create during the soft purple of dusk, or to look at the moon shining as brightly as the setting sun directly opposite it, my feet trapped in the middle in the soft sand.

There's no real resolution to this blog, no deep insights, apart from that these little moments make me feel grounded and centered. In the onslaught of senses that is every day in India, remembering these seemingly irrelevant details gives me a starting point; the first paint strokes to recreate the overwhelming images that have become my memories, bringing back the smells and feelings and sensations of what I've experienced.

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