© Himanshu Khagta for Documenting Life Magazine

A walk in the woods


The word in its literal meaning would connote an existance beyond the normal or physical level. It is most extensively used in the context of a spiritual upliftment to the level of Yogis and Tapadvis. A state not in the relm of a lesser being. The purpose of this essay is to see if this Transcendence is so ellusive or have we ignored it in the noise of our lives.

A walk in the woods:

A canvas to paint a contentious discussion between rationality and things which science cannot explain. But that we shall discuss in a later part – The larger mountains.
I enter the woods and immediately a barrier secludes me from the troubles of my existence. I forget the hustling of my city life. Cloged senses begin to open.

I notice that trees don’t grow alone. That there is life on the floor. The most soothing sounds of nature are faint, the quiet excentuates them. The canopy is an opaque roof , but it gives way to filtered sun-rays causing the appearance of lightened patches on trunks and fallen leaves. A physisit will explain the lighting and colours of the forest, cause of the recurring reflection and refraction of these rays. I only experience its outcome.

I am instinctually conscious of the dangers of the wild. A knowledge engraved at the cellular level through the process of evolution. Thus causing the enlightening of my sense. I am suddenly more aware of my surroundings. I can see, smell, hear and feel better. The mind, clear of other worldly thoughts, is able to receive sensory inputs and provide for this indicribeable state.

So just by my physical entry in the forest, it triggers a series of reactions in by body, I feel different. Elated and at ease. Quite and at peace. Just my presence here makes me feel an enlightened existance. Beyond the normal and physical level. This is my transcendence. It has no relation to anything religious or spiritual. It is an outcome of my interaction with nature.

But I am only human. Eventually I long for the comforts of my house. I long for food which teases my taste buds. I long for a crisp pint of beer. I long for company. So I leave the forest and drive back home. Though my body has exited the forest, I am not alienated from its experience . I take a part of the knowledge, calm and ease from this masterpiece of nature. This shall be a part and shall guide me forever. I return transformed by this magnificence.

Nature is our path to transcendence. To elightenment, calm and peace.


Amandeep Talwar

Himanshu Khagta