The other day a family friend asked me what my life’s melody was, and I didn’t know how to respond. So he continued, “One day a patient went to visit the doctor and he was diagnosed with pneumonia. But this was back when there was no cure for pneumonia, so the doctor made him realize that he only had a few more days to live. However, in that same hospital, they have facilities for end-of-life care and terminal illnesses, so the man/patient became a hospital resident. While visiting his hospital room for the first time, the patient noticed a large window that faced a vast field with a single tree, and in that moment, the patient decided to sit beside that window everyday to watch the tree. Since it was summer, the tree blossomed and the leaves appeared very healthy. But as time passed, and winter approached, the patient noticed that the leaves would begin to fall out one by one. As a game, he decided to represent each falling leaf as each day he has lost. So that the number of leaves left on the tree, represent the number of days he had left to live. The patient continued to believe this and as each day passed, a leaf would fall to the ground. Eventually, a day came and there was only one leaf left, but this was the same day as his weekly check-up. The doctor noticed that the patient appeared gloomy and somewhat depressed but without asking any question, the patient told the doctor that he was certain of his death the very next day because there was only one leaf left on the tree. After the check-up, the doctor visited the field to see the tree.  He counted the number of fallen leaves and realized that the number matched the number of days the patient had been in the hospital. So, overnight the doctor taped every fallen leaf back to the tree branches. In the morning, when the patient awoke and noticed that the tree blossomed with multiple leaves again, he thought he had been given another chance at life. He began to feel better and before time, the doctor realized scans and tests showed that the patient was healing quickly”. Then my family friend asked, see what his life’s melody was? And then I thought that was very brilliant and well written. He told me he had read it from Gitanjali, a book of collection of poems written by the Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore. Instantly, I became a fan and began to research on Tagore.

lonely tree

Rabindranath Tagore was well known for his creative and imaginative works that include music, paintings, theatre, novels, stories and poetry. In other words, he was an artistic genius with so many memorable art works, and he was rightly called the wordsmith of India, and the poet of poets. However, it was after reading one of his famous works, titled Gitanjali that I completely appreciated the deep and profound love he had for art, creative writing and much more.

Listening to my family friend’s narration, and reading about the incredible works of Tagore made me realize that everyone indeed had their melody. But it’s difficult to know our melody because we live in a fast-paced world, driven by constant change, goals, drives, aspirations. We almost forget the beauty that is life itself. I’ve finally realized my life’s melodies; watching the sun set, the sun rise, feeling a heart beat, and watching a child grow inside of another human being all make me slow down and think. It’s the little things that possess the most beauty. Rabindranath Tagore said it best, “the water in a vessel is sparkling, and the water in the sea is dark. The small truth has words which are clear, the great truth has silence” So listen carefully, what is your life’s melody?

IMAGE CREDIT: JR, UniversityBlogSpot