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Chasing Marigolds – Journey to India

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist.

Oscar Wilde

Visiting India was a lifelong dream and the call to adventure was compelling. Due to work pressures, financial matters, children and health issues, I kept refusing the call. After becoming a yoga teacher the urge was stronger as I immersed myself in every yoga book I could get my hands on. I became totally absorbed in the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, Mahabharata, the Vedas and many other texts that explained the wisdom of yoga along with the philosophy stemming from Hinduism.

For many years, I suffered from Crohn’s Disease and Christmas was always a difficult time from the additional stress, along with the extra intake of rich food and alcohol. One Christmas I ended up in hospital where I had to stay for seven weeks. My recovery was slow but once I started to improve, a nurse told me how relieved she was. She thought I was not going to make it. There were days when I was seriously ill, I felt more dead than alive.

My Indian dream looked like it wasn’t going to eventuate. After numerous surgeries for strangulated hernias, obstructions of the small bowel and a cholecystectomy for good measure, I spent weeks in hospital and many more recovering. In between surgeries we were travelling around Australia in our caravan and on one occasion I experienced a further obstruction of the small bowel. After driving six hours from Eden in NSW to Melbourne in Victoria, I underwent further repair surgery in a city hospital.

near Ranakpur Jain Temple

As it took years for my health to fully recover, I thought at this point I might never get to India. My health and age were both against me. In an attempt at rest and recuperation, I was camping in a remote part of the Kimberley, in Western Australia’s scenic far north. I went into a laundry block to do some washing where people tend to leave books they no longer want.

A solitary book lay on the bench although not a soul was in sight. It was the Lonely Planet Guide to India. I decided to borrow the book to read about the country that had eluded me all these years. The very next day when I was leaving the campsite, I noticed a man about to put some newspapers in the rubbish bin. Not having read a newspaper in weeks, I ran over to retrieve them. In a current copy of The Australian, one of the first things I discovered was a full-page advertisement for a trip to India which was surprisingly cheap. Interpreting this as serendipitous, I rang my friend to see if she was still interested in going to India.

Riding camels Thar Desert Jaisalmer

It was not my intention to write a book when I went to India. Captivated by the sensorial images of the people and their culture, I picked up a pen and couldn’t stop writing. The yogic wisdom and Hindu philosophy I studied in order to become a yoga teacher gained new meaning as I observed the daily rhythm of the ancient culture from which yoga had originated.

Riding camels in the desert at sunset and zipping above ancient forts high above the ground was a wonderful adventure for me and I loved every minute. Unfortunately, the night before I was due to fly home, I became unwell and thought I wasn’t going to make it back to Australia. Having focused for so long on getting to India before I died, I hadn’t factored in getting home alive.

Zipping above Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Zipping above Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur, Rajasthan

Having an understanding of yoga and meditation in my life has helped me to deal with these difficult situations and given me a greater appreciation of life.

I wrote a book because I wanted to share some of the ancient wisdom and insight that is as relevant today as it was when first written thousands of years ago. My book “Chasing Marigolds” is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository or through all major book distributors. To purchase “Chasing Marigolds” go to my Book Page by clicking https://moirayeldon.com/index.php/books/

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