The Things That Matter…

Friday Reflections had the image for inspiration this week. The photo credit goes to hostess Corinne Rodrigues.


The Things That Matter…

Friday Reflections #10

When I close my eyes and let my mind travel back in time, the time they mostly end up in is my childhood.

I see the green of the paddy fields of my hometown, lush and tall as I walk through them. I see a scarecrow in the middle of the field too, and I run faster back into the arms of my mother, afraid of it coming to life & running behind me. I hear her laughter, clear as I ever have, as she chides me and tells me to walk ahead, that it’s only a doll made of hay. Suddenly, the fields are not scary any more.

I see the room I shared with my sister before we grew up. I see the two of us fighting over who gets to play the cassettes, which song to listen to, and that I should only sing along to the male singer, not the female one. I see us in the garden, watering the plants, and making the soil level with a spade. We don’t have cameras, but we admire the hibiscus, the rose and the avocado fruits. I see her get a cut on her finger, and start to cry as the blood comes out. I wipe it off, give the finger a kiss, and she stops crying. The pain is not felt any more. Her smile is watery, but it is still there. It becomes brighter as we head off to the nearby shop to buy ice candy to slowly lick and savor each drop of cold, sweet goodness that slides down our throat.

I feel the rain that falls steadily as my sister and I cycle back from school. The people on the streets run helter-skelter to find any shelter they can, like the rain will hurt them if they get wet for a few seconds longer. We go no faster than we usually do, enjoying the rain as we splash through puddles, talking nineteen to the dozen about the day we had. If the sun comes out, we stop to look for a rainbow. The first to spot one gets an extra chocolate. We see the raindrops on the leaves and on our hair. The cold is not felt any more.

When I open my eyes again, I feel the changes, though the memories stay.

There is nature around, the greenery of plants in gardens, in parks and falling from potted plants onto the walls of houses. There are scarecrows around, but the paddy fields are far away. The world is different now. My sister’s world is different from mine. We still fight, but over the phone, for there’s no time to meet. The worries we have are no longer limited to cuts from thorns or the homework not done. And it takes much more than a kiss to make the pain go away. The rain hasn’t changed, but we have. The pluviophiles take cover from the rain, lest we fall ill and miss a day of work. Once it stops, and the sun comes out, it’s a race to reach home before the next spell begins. The rainbow is forgotten.

“Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.” – Haruki Murakami.

Life seems to have become a race to see who reaches the destination faster, and who can climb the ladder faster and reach the top. The faster you climb, the more you earn, the more the future can hold. No one looks behind or below to see the world that once was. The only option is to look ahead and step forward. The next step might be on the fingers of someone who has helped us and held us up till now, but we’d not hesitate to do that. We forget that those people still matter, and there is beauty in the world around us.

I’ve found that to think of life as a rat race is something that does not work for me. I do not want to think only of money as the ultimate goal. The past that does not matter anymore, I can let go of. But I want to take in each moment of the present on the way to the future, to whatever destination the road ahead has for me. The path ahead might be empty, but what surrounds it is life. Nature, people, love, memories, laughter, tears… what it holds is a piece of me I didn’t know I had. Each step of the journey ahead, I want to hold on to it, observe it, feel it, and enjoy it. I want to remember the smallest things that matter. My life is a journey not a race, and whatever I do, I want to make sure that it’s worth it.

Photo © Corinne Rodrigues
Photo © Corinne Rodrigues

“Life is a journey, not a destination.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is my 4th Festival of Words. I’m not having a particular theme this time, but I shall travel down memory lane and revisit some posts I had written inspired by Write Tribe prompts. For a previous prompt at Write Tribe, “The Smallest Things”, I had written about some memories of childhood with my sister.

(© Vinay Leo R. @ I Rhyme Without Reason, 14th July 2016)


Poetry & writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

18 thoughts on “The Things That Matter…”

  1. Memories warm as well as tear apart. Murakami’s churning words. And life goes on… memories matter. The rainbow on the way is transient. Clouds gather more forcefully…

    Nice post. thought provoking.

  2. Just yesterday I had this conversation with my husband that I long for an uncomplicated life, a minimalistic life, with no rat race to try and win. How I wish our chaotic today had been more like our stress-free yesterday. I, too, often go for a walk down memory lane, to my childhood, which has much more pleasant moments than my today does. My memories of my childhood warm my heart and give me hope. But, when I come back to my present, the warmth just evaporates and is replaced by today’s mad rush that life has become. How I wish the journey of our life had been easier and simpler, but, that’s not to be!
    Loved your post, VInay! May you find peace within your heart, which helps you to face the harsh reality that our journey actually is!

    • I hope that that peace comes too, Shilpa. It’s much needed. The mad rush of life only seems to get more fast, more lonely. In that harsh reality, these memories are a good refuge, I find. As is the world created by my favorite books. So far, I’ve been able to keep it as less complicated as it has been, but I can see the muddle on the horizon.

    • Yeah, Kala. I guess the happiest times of adulthood are surrounded by the thoughts of some worry nearby. So it seems like temporary. The happiest times of childhood, on the other hand, feel more lasting. Like the fun wouldn’t end, neither the innocence. What do you think?

  3. Aah! The good old days. True, with the rat race and competition in every sphere of life, we have forgotten to live in the moment and cherish the beauty of the world around us.

    • It does feel good to go down memory lane, Dashy. 🙂 I hope we aren’t carried off in the race too, for the journey mattered then and it still matters now.

    • They can, Upasna and they usually do. 🙂 But in the rat race of life, even those memories at times are suppressed, which is sad. Glad you liked the post.

    • I hope that that happens, and you embrace each moment too, Mackenzie. 🙂 It’s okay to think of the future, but not worry about it or the past, I feel. That way, we see more of the present. 😀 Thank you, and glad you found my piece beautiful.

    • It’s something a lot of us struggle with, and will at one point of time. I wish you well on the journey, my friend Babby. If you need an outlet to vent or to just talk casual, ping me 😀 We’ll relive the Indian Raiders days, and have some fun.
      (Vinay Leo R. recently posted… Let Us Not Be Indifferent)My Profile

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