|Great Crested Grebe. Watercolour pencil on crumpled sheet of paper.|
|Great Crested Grebe mating display|
(The photographs of great crested grebe mating display are posted on the Facebook page. I shall not be re-posting them on the blog becasue cross-posting the same photograph across plaforms is wasteful as explained in an earlier post.)
“Do not be afraid; our fate
Cannot be taken from us; it is a gift.”
― Dante Alighieri, Inferno
In the twilight of the previous century someone gifted me a box of 36 Staedtler watercolour pencils. He had spotted something that, quite frankly, had eluded me. But then he has a rare gift– he possesses impeccable creative judgment. That evening I surprised myself by drawing a great crested grebe on a crumpled sheet of paper. The rest of the story isn’t available for free. Moreover, it doesn’t serve the purpose of this post, I only refer to it to illustrate the fact that some gifts are fully appreciated only with the passage of time.
Last week a pair of great crested grebes performed their mating ritual for an audience consisting of just me. They gifted me a moment of pure bliss. For a few minutes the world was infused with grace and beauty. Even though I was standing a stone’s throw away from the office towers of Barclays, BP, Morgan Stanley et. al. The gift that the great crested grebes bestowed on me was timeless and inviolate.
Some gifts get misplaced or are discarded over time – we seem to outgrow them. Of the many gifts humans may accumulate, a sense of wonder is the one that seems to be least missed when it is lost. That has perhaps sealed humanities fate.
And then there are those times when we simply are unable to realize that what we have is a gift – we refuse to accept it. This blog that you are reading now too is one such gift from me to you, regardless of its eventual fate.