The first thing that strikes you upon landing in Kerala is the beauty of this land. The local people have a beautiful glow about them, and a certain openness in their smiles. There is a focused stance about them, but still very much at ease. Visiting Kerala has always been on my wish list, but I never knew the circumstances under which I would finally be able to come here. The natural beauty is raw and stunning. The lush, emerald green landscape is a nod to the rainfall and the fertile land that nurtures life here. I can see why they call it “Gods own country”.
Kerala is the largest producer of spices in India, and the further south you go, the greater the variety of spices. It is beyond fascinating to be able to witness the vast array of plants, herbs and spices that grow in such abundance here. I cannot help but recognize the importance of the historical spice route, and am left pondering how many lost their lives over it. The history of the spice farms is unimaginable. What strikes me is that these spices continue growing. Offering their powers to those who seek them out, and to those who understand their value. Cinnamon, for example, was once upon a time more valuable than gold. Value for a commodity is based upon what one is willing to pay for it, and the price paid was for the medicinal value. Only the wealthy bought and used these gems as they sought out the potion of eternal youth.
To be in this land and at the source of the world’s very first spice center, established almost 3000 years ago, is incredibly humbling. This journey has brought me here, and made it possible to embrace the richness of Ayurveda. I am excited about the treasures I will leave with, but for now, I am letting the journey be the guide.