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  • Writer's pictureAhsan Jamil

A Great Detour

“We carry inside us the wonders we seek outside us.”


As I fly across the Atlantic to reach a corner of the earth near Cape Cod, I think about the forefathers who migrated from Europe and made this point their home. They had no idea that they were sowing the seed of the world’s most scientific and advanced civilization. Then I think about my forefathers and what they would have thought about this freezing town that I call my second home. Swansea is a small picturesque town on the mouth of Mount Hope Bay, an arm of Narragansett Bay. This land is a bistate junction of Rhode Island and Massachusetts shores. Taunton river offers a great length of its western bank to these intermingled villages. The spillover of this waterway is a favorite destination of many sorts of cold weather migratory birds like Anas ducks.

It is home to wildlife like beavers, bobcats, coyotes, fish, foxes, bears, raccoons, skunks, woodchucks, and White-tailed deers. They roam here as an exemplary example of the peaceful coexistence with the human dwellers. Along with some kind people, my neighbors include swans, turkeys, squirrels, and rabbits. They paint this picturesque town beautifully and add to the ambiance of the neighborhood.

On the eve of this New Year, a few lines from the book of my wandering destiny, bring me to this small village in Massachusetts. Which is like something out of a fairytale. Big Apple or other big cities like Lahore are having virtual celebrations because of the safe distance protocol. Plus seasoning in age has taught me subtle meanings of festivity. The crowd charms the pompous and show off attracts the arrogant. The mature prefer modesty. Humility provides calm. I think the invasion of coronavirus has helped most of us to sagacity.

The Christmas and New Year celebrations are angelic and decent in these towns. Just like the residents are sincere and simple, so are their festivities. They are sweeter than candy cane and warmer than New Year treats. They decorate their houses, churches, and shops with lights and season’s greetings banners. They open them for extended families, friends, and neighbors. In this individualistic society, it is a great illustration of communal care, love, and faith, in God and in each other. It seems as if residents of these country roads have discovered that living peacefully, in the countryside, matters much more than hasty urban lifestyles in cluster housings and multi-story buildings. Their driving etiquettes display their inner calm. The lawns, symmetry of picket fences, arrangements of flower beds, and decorated mailboxes tell a tale of their soulful lifestyle.

The tranquility, patience, mellowness, stability, cleanliness, and unalloyed natural surroundings make this area seem like an Impressionist painting. The speed of time in this rural area is so aligned to the moon and stars that they seem like a choir performing on a Sunday morning. These towns sleep early to wake up with the rising sun. Although the sun itself emerges here at leisure. That’s why this territory is called New England. I am already a great fan of western urban development, but it cannot compete with the rural calm. Perhaps what impresses me most is that country folks are genuine and industrious. Their words have meanings and their walks have a purpose. Frankly speaking, I would love to spend the remainder of my trip to this planet at a place like this.

I am taking a moment to be grateful for the serenity that surrounds me. The perfect alignment of the universe in this little part of the world reminds me of my wandering soul. I should be staying at home but I’ve been a traveler by birth, both physical and spiritual. My arrival at this planet may itself be a detour. Whatever it is, I am thankful for the fate that brought me to this beautiful partner of the solar system. It gave me a chance to be a humble member of the great species called Homospaiens. It provided me an opportunity to live with a loving family and walk with great friends. Though I know deep down that this life is not forever and I will one day move on to another place, I have been blessed. I have seen so much of the world and experienced even more.

From the highlands of Lake Saiful Muluk to the floatable waters of the Dead Sea. From the Roman Colosseum to the daunting skyscrapers of New York City. From the Temple of Tooth in Sri Lanka to the Great Wall of China. From the Fox Studio at Hollywood to the cable car of Sentosa Island. From the London Eye to the Silver Carp, jumping fish at the Mississippi River. From Petronas Twin Towers of Kuala Lumpur to the Mardi Gras in the one and the only New Orleans. From the canals of Venice to the banks of the River of Love, Chenab River. From the courtyard of the Vatican City to the Temple of Heaven. From the Guru Janam Asthan to the cups of Zam Zam Well. From the concert of Bon Jovi at Memphis Pyramid to the street singers of Eiffel Tower. From the happiest city in the world Copenhagen to the Floating Market in Bangkok. From the square of Romerberg, Frankfurt to the halls of Hagia Sophia, this wanderer has heard the lyrics of hope and sighs of despair from the artistic lips in various dialects but the song remains the same.







Ahsan Jamil

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, Photographer



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