Guiding Light of The Month

O Lord, how ardently do I call and implore Thy love! Grant that my aspiration may be intense enough to awaken the same aspiration everywhere: oh, may good- ness, justice and peace reign as supreme masters, may ignorant egoism be overcome, darkness be suddenly illu- minated by Thy pure Light; may the blind see, the deaf hear, may Thy law be proclaimed in every place and, in a constantly progressive union, in an ever more perfect harmony, may all, like one single being, stretch out their arms towards Thee to identify themselves with Thee and manifest Thee upon earth. - The Mother

Along the Way… December Walk Review (walk no 388)

Several members of SAS, Singapore take pride in being fitness and nature enthusiasts. Many of them gathered for the monthly walk at 8 am on Sunday, 3rd December. This time it was held at Coney Island Park situated within Coney Island, alternatively known as Pulau Serangoon, a 133-hectare island located off the northeastern coast of Singapore. The 50-hectare Coney Island National Park besides being rich in history, houses a wide variety of habitats, including coastal forests, grasslands, mangroves, and casuarina woodlands. It is home to a wide variety of fauna and flora, some of which are critically endangered. Some plants at the park are presumed nationally extinct in the wild.

It is worthy of mention that enthusiasm for participation in these walks, which had been dwindling earlier, has now been steadily rising. Let us give a loud shout-out for the sizeable group that enjoyed the walk at this park that has its rich bio-diversity in a rustic setting. The lush greenery offers much to explore for bird and nature enthusiasts.

This Sunday morning offered Singapore weather at its best. The morning rain shower having subsided, the sky was cloudy and the breeze was cool. After an exchange of cheerful greetings, we all set off at a brisk or comfortable pace that suited the individual walkers.

Our group covered an age range from 8 years to 70 years. Sophia and Anjali, the youngest amongst us strode ahead of all into the park. Kiruthika soon came rushing to keep a close watch on her daughters and ensure their safety.

During this walk we had the opportunity to chat with Sophia about her adventures so far and the one she liked the most. Most willingly she shared her experiences during two family trips: one to Mount Ophir in Johor and the other to Endau Rompin, Malaysia. She narrated, “At Mount Ophir, we went on a night walk where we saw spiders and then a whole lot of fireflies! And the next day we climbed over rocks. The height to which we climbed was around 50-60 feet. Our guide was surprised that we could do it!”  We discussed the terms ‘abseil’ and ‘rappel’ which refer to a controlled descent off a vertical drop, such as a rock face, using a rope.

Of the trek at Endau Rompin, Sophia shared this story, “We we returned to our camp, my father discovered leeches under his trousers, sucking his blood.” Anjali piped in knowledgeably, “We should sprinkle salt to get rid of leeches.” It was amusing to see Sophia constantly checking details with her mom, whom we labelled as her ‘encyclopedia”.

Conversation while walking is entertaining as well as informative, isn’t it? Candidly I shared with Sophia, “You have had so many more adventures than I have! You are lucky indeed.”

We had entered the park through the West gate and we walked on the footpaths that led to Beach A, Beach B; past Beach C and finally, towards the East Gate. Along the way, we saw the ocean waves lapping at the shores among the mangroves, beautiful flowers and colorful leaves, heard melodious birds’ songs.

But soon it was time to return to the assigned meeting point. In the playground nearby, I spotted an empty swing which beckoned to the child in me. Without hesitation, I sat on it and enjoyed taking it higher and higher into the air. The delightful breeze blew my grey hair wildly about. A young parent who was highly amused at this sight could not restrain from observing, “You are really enjoying the swing, aren’t you? How lovely!”

Assembling at at our hosts’ residence, we enjoyed the usual meditation followed by Sanskrit sloka recitations by Dr. Sheel Aditya and Jaishree as well as readings of the Mother’s and Sri Aurobindo’s writings.

The power of prayer cannot be underestimated. We all prayed to the Divine Mother for Shashi Bhai who is undergoing medical treatment. May She grant him physical and mental strength at this difficult time and bless him with an early and complete recovery.

The session adjourned after the sumptuous brunch lovingly arranged by our hosts Ritesh and Upali Thacker. We express our gratitude to them for their warm hospitality.

-          Anju Aditya

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