Guiding Light of The Month

THERE is a great difference between being in the midst of active work, of external action, while keeping one’s thought constantly fixed on Thee, and entering into that perfect union with Thee which leads to what I have called “absolute Consciousness, true Omniscience, Knowledge”. - The Mother

A Walk to remember...

Contrary to what the title may suggest, this is not a review of the popular film from 2002. Rather, I wanted the title to convey clearly the gist of the short essay that follows.

As a freshman at college, most of my time is spent attending lectures, rushing out assignments and spending time with friends. I never consciously dedicate time for my health. I have gotten by for nineteen years without ever really paying attention to my body and its needs.

Hence it was fortunate that my mother insisted that I accompany her to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. The walk through Durian Loop allowed me to explore a different type of nature than I am accustomed to, and I felt myself becoming more awake as I took in my surroundings. Growing up in Singapore, I have been so used to the orderly trees planted alongside our roads. I also felt myself becoming more alert, as I had to look out for mud and thorns through the hike up to the summit.

What made the experience memorable was that I did not feel tired at any one point during the walk. There was so much to take in, from the abundant flora and fauna (including one fascinating blue snake) to the constantly changing inclines. It was a stark contrast to the gym, where I would normally go when the rare burst of enthusiasm for fitness hits me. Though the gym is comfortable, it is boring. Exercise is a lot more appealing when there are things to see and people to do it with you.

The walk also gave me time to think about the pressing need to conserve water and biodiversity. Global warming threatens the existence of all species. Closer to home, the end of our remaining water agreement with Malaysia in less than 50 years comes to mind. In a small country like Singapore with few real resources, preservation initiatives should be treated seriously and nature reserves held in high regard.

To sum up simply, nature is important - especially given the challenging realities of the world we live in. Moving forward, I hope to take more time to value and safeguard the planet we live on, not just for myself, but for everyone and everything around me as well.

-       Saaradhaa Muthunatarajan

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