Sunday, March 31, 2019

Road Trippin': Holi, Holi!

As an avid Bollywood fan, I have longed to visit India for its music, culture and, well...the Holi Festival. It has been on my bucket list for a long time. A "quick definition" of Holi can be found on Wikipedia at:

Like many cultures around the world that celebrate Spring, Holi is the Hindu Spring "Festival of Colors", and this last weekend was epic for me, personally. Many of the Bollywood films I've watched have Holi festival dance scenes, and it just looks so fun and happy and celebratory! I've always longed to be mixed into the crowds...dancing, hugging, throwing colors in the air and at each other...

So when the opportunity arose to attend the Holi Festival in Spanish Fork, Utah, I jumped at the earliest chance and bought tickets. Despite a looming Wyoming weather forecast, I forged through the wind, ice and blowing snow through South Pass and just out of Little America to Fort Bridger...determined (or at least be known as "died trying"). My logic (and I did have a little bit) was would be the next best thing to the real deal without actually having to book a flight to India.

And it was! Granted, it was in Spanish Fork, Utah, but the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple was a most amazing backdrop, with the beautiful Wasatch Mountain range in the distance. Thousands (I mean, literally, thousands) gathered for one of the most amazing events I've experienced.

(There are videos on my personal Facebook page, too.

View from the Temple.
I pretty much inhaled the whole experience. I got a henna tattoo on my left hand/arm...had hot, fresh samosas for lunch...stopped and shopped at all of the vendors' tents. I met so many people...hugged so many people...the music was amazing...threw colors on so many people who smiled and laughed and knew that we were all there for the same reason:

To celebrate Spring! To live life, to shed the Winter and look forward to new beginnings!

Many of my friends and family wonder where I am in my spiritual life right now. Today, Sunday, March 31, 2019 is as good a time as any to say that I am "spiritual" (however you want to define that, I don't know how anyone really does), but...I do not belong to any spiritual, religious persuasion or belief. I have studied, read, experienced and have witnessed the terrible history and misguidings of so many world religions, tribes and people...with the idol of money as the primary "god"...that I have simply shed the complexity of it all and have finally learned that life is not meant to be as complex and horrible as those in power have and continue to make it.

That we are all human. That we laugh and cry...we hurt, we're angry, we're stressed, but...we are also good, kind and forgiving! We come together in times of trouble. We give, we work, we play. We have it in us to be more intelligent than those who are telling us to not laugh, not cry, not hurt, not be angry, not be stressed.

But to what end? What's it all about if we cannot be?

Just Be?

You could travel the world
But you can't run away from the person you are in your heart.
You could be who you want to be, make us believe in you,
Keep all your light in the dark.
If you're searching for truth, you must look in the mirror,
Make sense of what you can see
Just be…just be.

They say learning to love yourself is the first step
That you take, when you want to be real
Flying on planes to exotic locations
Won’t teach you how you really feel
Face up to the fact that you are who you are
And nothing can change that belief
Just be…just be.

‘Cause now I know, it's not so far to where I go,
That I respond, it's inside me
I need to just be…
Just Be.

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