What do you see as you look out on this view?

Will it make a difference if you know where it is?

Will the location make it more interesting?

Or do you gaze at it and simply see an arid hillside with some sort of fort/castle on the crest?

And if I now tell you that this wonderful passage is the walkway that reveals that scene to us does that intrigue you?

I have spent much of my life reading, looking at and, sometimes if I’m very lucky actually visiting places that feed my imagination and delight my heart.

When I gazed out on that scene I, of course, had more information. I was there and could hear, smell and feel. 

The sounds were of many people, both working and visiting this amazing palace. The everyday chitchat of life moving along as normal.

My sense of smell is very strong and, on occasions a downright nuisance….who wants to smell all the odours in a city on a very hot day for instance! On that day I smelt the dry hot air wafting into the cool of the passageway. It flowed off the hillside carrying the scent of sunbaked earth.

I felt the warmth of the sun even though I was sheltered from the intensity of it. I felt comfortable and comforted by the heat. My body relishes heat. I feel safe. If I had a past life it was in the desert.

I rediscovered these photographs recently and realised how potent the memories were when I gazed at the scenes I had snapped. I was told whilst looking out on these hills that in days gone by tigers were hunted in this region. There is still a story that a large black cat, and I don’t refer to a cat cat I think more in terms of a panther, roams the hills. 

I have had the joy of visiting this wonderful place twice. These pictures were taken the first time and I recall being totally bewitched by the whole experience. My second visit was with three women who had never been. I was thrilled to share the experience and also know that if they had not chosen to come along I would probably not have returned.

This all brings up the topic of journeys but that is another post to be written in the near future….

Pictures/photographs bring things to life. Memories that may feel fantastical become real because right there in front of us is the evidence…we remembered correctly and it really was like that. And what’s more it brings to mind a truly delicious Dahl eaten in a great cafe nearby!

The place was the Amber Fort, a short distance from Jaipur. Up that hillside every morning there is a constant coming and going of elephants carrying visitors through the gateway and into the courtyard. I did not arrive on an elephant simply because I feel uncomfortable riding such magnificent creatures. I am aware though that they are well cared for and by law only work for the cool part of the morning. I have been in vehicles at traffic lights with elephants patiently waiting for the the green light whilst their mahout sleeps! They know exactly when and where to go as they return to the city to rest.

This was simply a chance to muse softly over beautiful scenes. Perhaps you are now recalling a scene in your past and know that somewhere you have the picture to really enliven your memory…go and seek it out!

I don’t see it as living in the past. It is more about honouring and acknowledging the life I have been privileged enough to have. Much is written in yoga about living in the moment but it feels right to feel the wholeness of my time on this earth and that includes good and bad. I am me, memories and all!

Thank you to John, who was my companion the first time…

Thank you also to Di, Tina and Louise. Our journey round Rajasthan was rather rapid but wonderful…


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