February is a month that abandons the cold and welcomes the warmth, festivities and freshness into the Punjab air. Spring is a glowing season but amber dominates February. Yellow is a celebration color of this time of the year. Marigold, chrysanthemum, gutta-percha, the wild sodom apple, bindweed and the king of flowers, rose of all colors embellish the streets of the city of gardens, Lahore. Villages around here offer mustard flowers as far as the eye can see.
The skies are adorned by the kites of Bassant and on the ground, streetside dining facilities become crowded. People love to sit in lawns and yellow oranges of all kinds hegemonize the outdoor tables. Yellow sunlight warms the atmosphere asking people to take off their winter clothings layer by layer. Though this month is usually yellow in this region, this time it’s different. This February is engulfed in haziness and mistiness. The fog persists on staying this winter, overstaying its welcome.
The early birds, like me, are the serious casualties of fog. In visibility 100 yards or less, playing golf seems impossible. Some enthusiasts dare to venture through such conditions, we were one of them this morning. It was more mystic than my cloudy brain. I would call it double blind. Caddies at the Royal Palm GCC were quite trained to locate and follow golf balls in fog. They can point the pin through dense fog. Their skill is remarkable and I heartily applaud their efforts. They know Royal Palm Golf Course like they know the back of their hands.
Playing in fog is hide and seek game. Members of your flight can become invisible any time and reappear at once from anywhere. It is like chasing ghosts, both thrilling and bewildering. But I enjoyed the challenge fog brought to this game I love. It became more of a mind game, a virtual round. I was playing on an imagined pin and towards an envisioned direction. I made two pars, four boggles and three doubles. Better than the usual.
What is Trust (Tawakul)-(توکل)? It means to have blind faith. I discovered this conviction in the unseen through this foggy round of golf. I understood the workings of this kind of belief. How religions that believe in the unseen God function. How it feels to have faith in an unseeable divinity. If we are unable to see something, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. My inability to see through golf cannot deny the standing pin on the greens, the sitting bunkers, or the water hazards.
So much more exists beyond the reach of the eye and approach of the mind. Just look at the universe; just because we haven’t discovered it all or understand it all, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. There are literally billions of worlds out there. Fog of illiteracy, avarice, myopia, and superstitions impair our vision. Once the sun of faith and moon of enlightenment shines, this fog disappears and we begin to see beyond our eyes.
When we hit the ball in fog, we have trust in our swings. We believe that the ball will land at the proper place. The caddie has faith in his expertise and his mind sees the ball taking off to a certain direction. He knows where it will end up. This brings in faith, trust, and belief into this life-like game. The mist mystifies the sport but ultimately embraces it.
The sunlight, fog, cloud, the flower, bush, jungle, the clay, ditch, and dunes, the sand, beach, and the river: all have a meaningful existence. It does not matter how insignificant it is, everything around us serves some purpose. Some things end up in plates and some things take bites. Some things provide and some things consume. Today, fog gives me a trip into the oasis of mysticism while most of the city is cursing it in frustration. If we learn to cherish our experience in this universe, everything begins to please us. Our heart begins to sing to the tunes of togetherness of the universe.
“Love calls - everywhere and always. We are sky bound. Are you coming?
Royal Palm GCC.
Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, Photographer, OleMiss Rebel.