#allthesenses Whatever is asleep in you can’t help but be woken here. After 2.5 days of travel and one day of recovery, my time in India officially began with a 5 hour bus ride from Delhi to Haridwar. As i looked out to the roadsides from the bus window it seemed as if all of India was on display... joy, despair, community, isolation, old, new, collaboration, oppression, sex, God, truth, lies, resources, emptiness, sweat, shit, smiles, tears, shadow and light. We happened to be traveling along side a great many folks making pilgrimage to Haridwar to celebrate Maha Shivaratri... a Hindu festival that honors the god Shiva and serves as a remembrance of overcoming darkness and ignorance in life and the world. The epicenter of the pilgrimage was the Ganges River, one of the most sacred rivers in Hinduism. Followers bathe in its waters and pay homage to their ancestors and to their gods. Whether folks dipped their toes in or were completely submerged, it was a ritual of purification, surrender and devotion. We attended the evening prayer/Fire ritual at sunset. Breathtaking not only in the artful devotion but also the power of collective worship. Folks were serious about following the Ritual, part of which was the burning ceremony and the other was splashing the river water into the crowds... startling to anyone not informed to duck or at least close your mouth and eyes. (Like me.) I’ve traveled a lot. And i know what it feels like to step foot onto unfamiliar land and know without a shadow of a doubt that I’ve been there before. In India my insides tell me a different story. I’ve never (EVER) been here but i value it. I respect it. I’m ready to learn from it. And be led by it. With reverence. With gratitude. Onward.
— in Haridwar.