It was roughly around three thirty in the afternoon, yet the sudden rain changed the tempo of the day. Oceanic road extended to the foreseeable future with its shiny wet patches all over the place. Rain has spoiled the nature. The breeze, the clouds, the trees,, the ocean, it all danced quick step. We drove along, as the untamed ocean pounded on the rocks, breaking, and blowing a mist of salty breeze away onto us.
Sky was mostly gloomy, yet its prisoner has almost got out of the cloud. Isolated points of turbulence mark distant patches of varying brightness on the canvass of the great ocean. Trapped Sun rays reach them from the circular portholes of the cloud in bright orange beams. - Spectacular scenery. - Nature at her beauty.
Yet I didn't feel as if we were on picnic.
Well, we were not.
I was driving along the yet-to-be-finished Ocean Drive, somewhere close to Bambalapitiya, in order to make in time for my baby's doctor appointment. And we were running late.
All that came to my mind was, well, the speed of the car, time of the watch (only my wife had one), and the meter reading of the imaginary policeman who would appear from behind any bush or building - and then the negotiation, fine or the bribe to get away.
To be honest, I did notice the beauty around me, tried myself to drag into it, yet failed. A distant glimpse of a joyous feeling rose, and suddenly found that it was very much out of place. And I wondered why…
We miss the interlude of life. We are waiting for the long weekend or the annual leaves to make us happy. And we let go the long boring rest of time, made so by our own selves. Then we call it the madness, curse or rat-race called life, which sucks. Even rats must be laughing.
Life's interlude is not really an interlude. It does not come after voices faded. It does not happen in a known day or time. It happens always. It is infinitely bound with every other day-today happenings. It's the idealistic mind of us which ignores the moments of joy in the expense of an imaginary fear, life goals or humanly concerns of ours.
But the same us dump all those concerns and fears and life goals out of the window of the picnic vehicle during the long weekend. Amazingly we fail the same for most of the little bits of times that come in our way totally free.
And it can come anywhere anytime in your life. In a little laughter at the back of your office, a rare traffic-free drive on the way to your work, or may be on your way to meet your CEO in the scenic open-lift ride in the skyscraper by the busy harbour in sight, - later to find out your are just fired. Well, in getting fired itself. This picnic is called life. And we are taking it like it or not. It's a matter of keeping your eyes open during the journey.
There are two types of people who climb that thorny harsh mountain. One type climb it to reach the peak - and then perhaps, to mark it with the flag on the top. Another lot climb to admire climbing. Reaching the peak is a mere point of their journey. They enjoy the journey for itself - the thorns for thorns, slippery rocks for slippery rocks, and leaches for leaches. Life is more enjoyable for the latter type.
Not just the picnic, the life is a gigantic scholarly institute as well. I like to talk to different people and study many different things. I like reading anything that comes in my way. In a very much unknown church where my wife goes and prays I found very interesting headstones of many generations apart. It may be boring if it was of a deadman 25years ago. But the mere writing of both Sinhala and English of two hundred and fifty years ago means a lot for you. Sri Wickrema Rajasinghe was still unborn by then. Don't laugh. You'd read them certainly if you saw them in a museum, and be surprised, like I did in that church.
I may be talking in irrelevant lines. There are people dying in hunger. There are people who endanger their lives in the enemy line on behalf of all of us. But just talk to such people. Within their limitations they enjoy their life. And if not for that joy they wouldn't be doing what they are doing.
And then they would be working in offices, like most of us. And hate the life. No joy, the usual rat-race, the whole list of complaints.
Someone else once wrote the following.
"Some say that life is very short. But Life is the longest period of time that anyone can feel."
So do not wait till the end of it, to enjoy it.