Eastern redbud

If we surrendered
to earth’s intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees. Rainer Maria Rilke

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Golden sunset

I stand alone like the cherry tree
shining in the shadow of the sunset
radiant in its beauty like a diamond

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Watching the sunset is a profound moment for me and I do takeout time everyday (almost) to gaze at the spectacle of color in the sky that lasts for a few minutes before it fades away. Living in the West where winter is long and brutal there can be many days when the sun doesn’t show at all. So, it becomes even more important for people here to be out in the sun when it does appear. But the upside of living in the West is the many breath-taking sunsets that one witnesses as the days get longer in spring and summer.

Nonetheless, as a sun worshipper I don’t need much deliberation to be in its company. I always have ready reasons to be out in nature. Moreover, research shows that the psychological effects of admiring the sunset may persist long after the color has faded. Admiring the sunset helps boost ones well-being, increase levels of happiness and enhance life satisfaction. The key is to actively engage with the experience. To reap the rewards of the sunset, you need to stop whatever else you’re doing and really notice and appreciate the show in the sky.

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The five reasons to gaze at the sunset:

Makes you feel at peace:
No matter how tough your day went or how exhausted you feel, spending a few minutes gazing at the sunset will make you feel at peace with yourself and others. You will look forward to a new, fresh day tomorrow.

Doesn’t cost a cent:
I believe watching the sunset is the most romantic date with your love or just by yourself. And the best part is it doesn’t cost you a cent. To make it an even more beautiful experience you can bring along a bottle of wine and savor the myriad hues in the sky.

Enhances your emotional well-being:
It is a know fact that people who live close to nature are happier and more emotionally secured. Especially people who spend time appreciating the beauty of nature. And what can be a better way then enjoying the sunset.

Makes you mindful:
It gives you a chance to be mindful and live in the moment which is otherwise quite difficult. And in time you would realize, admiring the sunset has become a routine. Isn’t that an amazing addition to an otherwise busy life.

Mindfulness is bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment- basis. According to Perspectives on Psychological Science study, mindfulness is “the nonjudgmental awareness of experiences in the present moment” and has been proven to have significant psychological and physical benefits, including stress reduction and improved cognitive functioning. Gazing at the sunset is one of the best ways to practice mindfulness.

Allows you to multi-task in a healthy way:
Some days I like to run in the park as the sun begins to hid behind the horizon. I take a few minutes to simply look at the setting sun, relishing its beauty, as I perform a few stretching exercise. Other days I like to stand upright in a Mountain Pose and simply gaze at the beautiful sunset, slowly inhaling the fresh air through my nose and exhaling it through my mouth.

Don’t miss a sunset because every sunset is gorgeous and different!

Yoshino Cherry Blossom

Her laughter makes my heart blossom. All I aspire is, to spend time in her companionship.

Cherry Blossoms at Central Park

Yoshino Cherry Blossom tree at Central Park

A lovely spring afternoon, and I was meeting a friend for lunch at Quality Italian, Midtown West. A delicious meal and lots of talking and laughter. It was more than a perfect afternoon for me but it didn’t just finish there. After goodbyes (for the next five minutes) with promises to catch up soon, I had some time on me before taking on the worldly duties again.

There were two things on my mind coffee and a spring afternoon walk through Central Park. So, I got myself a cappuccino from Zebetto (one of my favorite café around the area) and made my way through the streets to Central Park’s entrance at 6 avenue.

Cherry Blossoms at Central Park 1

The secret of life is that there are no secrets. Life is always showing itself. Byron Katie

Yoshino Cherry 
Yoshino Cherry is a very popular ornamental cherry tree found in plenty at Central Park. If you happen to visit the Park now, from mid to late April you would see the first buds of these trees typically blossoming before any other tree in the park.

Before the leaves appear on the Yoshino Cherry trees, pale pink flowers emerge in clusters of five or six (as seen in the pictures). Then as the leaves begin to grow on the tree, they first appear in bronze color and later as the summer approaches the same leaves turn into a darker green.

Cherry Blossoms at Central Park 2

Only from the heart can you touch the sky. Rumi

It is said, ‘the perfect blossom is a rare thing. You can spend your life looking for one and it would not be a wasted life’ Katsumoto, The Last Samurai. Such were my feelings as I stood in front of the irresistibly gorgeous Yoshino Cherry tree. A feeling so overwhelming, as I was a little teary eyed but could not reason it why.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t just me. After gaining my composure I noticed that a few steps to my right were two teenage boys mumbling something to one another. They went around, closer to the branches that were leaning towards the earth to get a close look at the pale pink flowers. It was truly a mesmerizing sight as the branches had lots of flowers. They stood there for some time simply gazing at the blossoms before biding adieu to the beautiful tree. Though strangers, our joy was the same.

When you see people just like you appreciating the beauty of nature, it is a divine feeling.

Cherry Blossom

Is it just me or do you too feel the magic of Spring? The earth is laughing in flowers once again.

Cherry Blossoms at Riverside Park

Cherry Blossom at Riverside Park

As I took the most gorgeous biking path by the Hudson river today, amidst all beauty I just couldn’t take my eyes off the blooming pink and white cherry blossoms along the path. The aroma of spring was all around. The feeling so beautiful, as the earth begins to turn colorful once again. Like every heart has a story to tell. Smiling faces, hearts filled with love, couples soaking the sun, children playing in the soil, and fitness enthusiasts setting new goals. Such a gorgeous sight.

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Sunshine seeping through the Cherry blossom against the azure sky

Cherry Walk
When you rave about Riverside Park, it is important to talk about the Cherry Walk. If you happen to visit Riverside Park in Spring, it is a must to hike the four mile long path along the Hudson River from 72nd to 158th Street. You would see light pink to white blossoms everywhere. It is a beautiful sight that will fill your heart with happiness and add some more lovely memories in your life.

Cherry Blossoms at Riverside Park 4

Flowers leave some of their fragrance in the hand that bestows them

I biked through the stretch of Hudson River, just close enough to the George Washington bridge, competing with many bikers who came in great speed from behind. Quite happy with my fitness I rested for a while under a white cherry tree. Lying on my back with face towards the sky, I gazed at the clear blue sky. It was sparkling in sunshine. I stretched my arms to feel the texture of the white cherry flower, its softness made my heart melt with love. A light Spring breeze flowing through the space awakened my senses with its everlasting scent.

After a few more precious moments in Nature I decided to head home. A smile dangled on my face and I felt calm, I knew in my heart ‘This path is going to be my friend till Spring lasts.’

 

Sunset

IMG_20170405_202201_762As the yellow hues penetrate through the tall New York buildings, standing by the edge of the window I admired nature’s farewell kiss to the night.

Mallard ducks

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As I watch the three Mallard ducks swim in union at the Central Park Conservancy, their union reminds me of the strong bond I share with my two sisters, an unbiased love.

It’s amazing how in nature one finds the true purpose of life – Unconditional and unbiased ‘Love’

Spring afternoon

As the earth begins to turn gold, and nature charms us with its enchanting spell
Spring it is once more, I sing with a heart full of rejoice

Yellow flower

Bright yellow Celandine Poppy flowing in the breeze

After four days of rain, the clouds gave way to Sun finally. The glowing medallion in the sky lifted my spirits. It is a known fact, that sunlight cues special areas in the retina, which triggers the release of the happy hormone serotonin in the brain. The blue sky looked promising and as I am a true nature lover or you may call me an ‘Aesthete’, a walk in Central Park was surely my plan.

Walking through the street, between West End Avenue & Amsterdam, the exuberant architecture of New York City was glowing in the Sun. Columbus Circle was buzzing with young mothers, out on a walk on this sunny day with their adorable toddlers. A brisk walk and in 20 minutes I was at the entrance of Central Park West on 68th Street. Marching in I was welcomed by a paradise of  bright yellow Celandine Poppy flowers. A native to North America, these flowers grow best in damp woodlands, with partial sunlight. It felt like the earth was painted in gold.

A carnival of scents blew in the air, as I walked further into the park. A squirrel near a tree seemed quite unperturbed and went on scuffing about in the leaves picking up nuts and titbits in its little paws. Just there as I turned right to hike up a trail, tiny yellow flowers were blooming on the branches of a tree. The yellow umbel flowers popularly know as ‘Golden Alexander’ looked eternal against the blue sky. These flowers add a lot of color to any garden or park. They are known for long blooming time and give way to green fruit later in the season.

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Golden Alexander blooming on a tree branch

My skin felt radiant after spending sometime sunbathing on the ‘Cherry Hill’ in the park and my lungs felt alive. A quote by John Muir ‘In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks’ crossed my thoughts as I enjoyed the sweet sunshine.

A spring afternoon well spent, I will cherish this beautiful walk for a very long time.

 

 

Snow covered patios

Snow from my windoe

the loud, trilling song of the Chipping sparrows
flickering their wings in the cold

neighbors backyards glowing white under the winter sun
the leafless branches casting shadows on the snow covered patios
the wooden staircase glimmering magnificently amidst everything else

she stood behind the tall, chilled window
her breath fogging the glass
she sipped her steaming coffee, relishing the winter view

Snow kissed

Snow4

White cotton like it lay on the ground
like someone grated it into a soft blanket
pure and flawless
it kissed all around her
embellishing every ounce it touched

Hints of Spring in the air

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A beautiful feeling
the first signs of SPRING
the sky blue, the trees almost budding
the sun bright, the smiles so wide
a joyful inkling
the first signs of SPRING
the squadron of geese paddle and scream
at Central Park lake

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