She ran through the dewy grass, her white dress trailing behind her like rushing fog in the breeze. The blades tickled her feet in greeting, happy that she was back again. The sweet smell of the champa flowers enveloped her, and she slowed down to grab one from its stem. The tree waved its leaves, telling her that she could take as many as she wanted. She smiled and placed the elegant white flower in her hair, where it unfurled delicately. She placed her palm against the rough bark of the champa tree, and buds bloomed in an explosion of white and perfume. Waving goodbye to the tree, she gracefully sprinted away. The tree drooped, glum that she had gone so soon.
As she passed, the plant life around her brightened, standing up straighter, and said hello in their own ways. The grass buoyed her feet up, making it easy for her to travel. The bushes curled in, out of her way, and the trees dropped the ripest fruit and the prettiest flowers just for her. She kept running. The cool wind pinched her cheeks, pleased she was back again, and guided her towards her destination. She raced against the Sun, towards her favorite spot in the forest. She slowed, and came to a stop in a clearing. A smile of undiluted joy spread across her face, and she closed her eyes. The Sun was coming up, and she let it warm her body.
What color should I make the sunrise? She asked the plants and animals around her. They chittered and swayed. Okay. She thought with a smile. The Sun, a beautiful glowing ball, slowly inched up from the horizon. Come on! She coaxed, bringing hues of vibrant reds and oranges up along with the Sun. For you, I will rise. The Sun replied. All was still in the forest. The breathtaking view spoke wonders, a story in itself.
When she had had enough, she let the colors dissipate. She breathed the scent of the vivid flowers surrounding the clearing, and got up. Twirling around, her dress spinning, she stroked Night to sleep, and coaxed Day to fully awaken. It was time, and the forest knew it too. It urged the animals to awaken, so they didn’t miss it. The fauna stirred, awaking sleepily, but excited.
Finally, she began to sing. The song was sweeter than the best mangoes and the most fragrant flowers. It was like honey and chocolate, and sugar and custard. It told a tale of a young girl tasked with taking care of the world, and her friends, Day, Night, the Sun, and the Moon. As she sang, the sky turned impossibly blue, so blue, if you had seen in it a painting, you would’ve thought it was unrealistic.
The lilting melody drew in all the animals, and they swayed to the rhythm. The tiger and deer listened next to each other peacefully, and the crocodile and monkey danced together. While she sang and twirled in glee, all was still. The wind stayed motionless, listening.
Finally, the song ended. She stroked the tiger, and fed the deer a flower from her hair. The animals returned to their spots, feeling peaceful.
The end of her tune brought about sunset, and she asked the Sun to go down. It complained, like always, but obeyed the girl. She rose the Moon, and put the Sun to sleep with a mix of dark blue and indigos. She tapped her friend Night on the shoulder, and told Day to go tuck the Sun in. The moon happily rose. The color of the sky slowly darkened, until no one could see into the pitch black that hung above. The stars appeared at her command, like diamonds glittering above the Earth, chattering amongst themselves.
When it turned midnight, she said goodbye to the trees, the plants, the animals, the Moon, and the stars, and laid down. As she fell asleep, the grass rose, and the dirt underneath her melted. She sunk into the Earth, and the grass covered her, like she was never there. The girl disappeared into the black soil, waiting to be reborn and start her journey all over again. For the girl was Nature, and her friends were the Sun, the Moon, Night, and Day. She had ballads written about her by her children, the flora and fauna of the world. And everyday she sang. And every day there was peace.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aarushi Ammavajjala is a 9th grader from South Forsyth High School in Atlanta, Georgia. Aarushi moved with her parents for all of 2020 to Vrindhavan and was with Gurus and the Divine. This piece of writing reflects on her time at Vrindhavan speaking on the Divine Mother, subtly connecting the greater concept of Advaita. She has always been passionate about the environment, and loves to write short prose and poetry. She recently received a Gold Award for creative writing in the Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Contest 2021 for youths 11-18 showcasing passion for the environment through different outlets, creative writing being one of them. Here is the link to her winning entry: https://bowseat.org/gallery/the-river-mother/