Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Virginia is for lovers!

Cherry blossoms from our living room window

So it is that time of the year again when happiness just blooms and spreads its roots inside you because mother nature is on a song. I often lamented about never having the chance to experience a spectacular North American spring. When I arrived here first, on the land of opportunities and ambiguities, it was too late. It was June and I could see the spring blooms withering away with a very few exceptions. That was when I first met the rhododendrons or as the Seattleites would call their state flower, the "rhodies". My heart leaped and jumped and bounced as if I had never seen anything of such remarkable beauty. Now there is this 'thing' about me and those who know me would understand this. I am an obsessive nature lover and at times like these I become this absolutely incomprehensible person as if my life depended on that single moment. Most of Sam's techie friends must find me rather daft when I ramble on about how the Mount Rainier is actually an active volcano or the different kinds of maple trees or the hundreds of wild Himalayan flowers. Not that I mind their uninvolved air, but I just feel that there is so much more life in these marvels than watching detestable modern television or going to shopping malls and killing time by mostly window shopping.

Getting back to my spring euphoria, last year we were in Texas during spring and there was nothing much on the platter except a few desert willows and Mexican buckeyes bursting out in their white and pink glory. Fortunately we lived in the Hill Country area which is home to many little charming German villages that are nestled on higher altitudes and host the wildflower festival every year. We did get to see vast stretches of red poppies, bluebonnets and cornflowers, and being a wildflower buff I loved every bit of it. But all the while I longed to see some typical spring queens like tulips and daffodils which are exotic to my tropical eyes. My friends back home would often ask me about the American spring and I would be at a very sad loss. But this year luck has smiled upon me and we have recently moved to this quaint little place called Charlottesville in Virginia. Apart from getting to live in the eastern part of this huge country, there is another aspect that quite thrills me. The state of Virginia that got its name from the Virgin Queen, Elizabeth the 1st is culturally rich and is home to historical sites like Colonial Williamsburg, which was the first British capital. The stately red brick buildings and the gastropubs here are a classic example of the once flourishing British rule. This is also the land of the legendary Indian princess Pocahontas. So I do feel pretty regal in a strange fashion! And to add to all this, there's spring here. There are pearly magnolias on naked, leafless branches and vibrant forsythias that ring the word basanti in my mind. During my solitary walk yesterday I could spot clusters of wild daffodils here and there, some upright and the others still sleepy. There is a certain untamed beauty in things of the wild which is wanting in carefully, patterned landscapes.
Till date I was unaware that the prim garden daffodils also had wild cousins. Then the thought struck me, "of course, Wordsworth must have seen these wild ones in the Lake District"!

My next agenda is the national cherry blossom festival that takes place annually in Washington, D.C. After almost a complete month of being buried in brutal blizzards, the time has come to venture out and celebrate nature. This is that sort of place where I could wonder around like Ophelia, wearing a crown of wildflowers and throwing my cares to the mad world. And why not, because as they say here - "Virginia is for lovers"! Or for incurable romantics. Or a bit of both?!


  1. Living in other countries can be so enriching, right? If it makes an Ophelia out of a Mickey Suman, so be it, cheers to that!!

  2. Yeah Som, I agree. I get to see seasons here that I had only read about before and had craved for. So when I compare this enrichment to my mundane life, it actually comforts me a great deal. Remember Chandran's "quotidian"!! :)

  3. so well written dear. the beauty of virgia comes alive in my imagination.

  4. For 2 minutes an aura got created around me that had seamless love in it and i was able to draw out all the reasons y "virginia is for lovers"...ur words have depicted the subtle warmth in the air of virginia so well :)

  5. Thanks Susmita and Apali for the appreciation.


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