The news of the recent earthquake reached me and I reached back in time, in my mind to a month spent there, in Nepal, from January til February, 1994.
Doubly reaching back, as being there was like stepping back in time itself.
It really made an impression me that the Nepalese are the kindest, most genuine people ever. When they say “Namaste” to you, it’s not just them saying “hi”, they look into your very Soul, actually sincerely acknowledging the common Spirit of Life, Love and Light which we each share. It’s a profound acknowledgement. You can see that they believe it, they mean it, they live it.
There’s no pretense, no superficial jealousy, no “games”, only this sense that everyone, and all sentient beings are connected in something far greater than that which we in the western world use to measure our degree of connectedness, or aloneness.
I remember walking up in the mountains, and came into this village. I was with my American guy friend, and our Nepalese guy friend, when a group of four girls, about my age came skipping up from behind us, their arms interlocking with each other. They were laughing and skipping with just pure joy, and took me by my arms, joined me to them, calling me “deedee” which means sister, and I was taken into skipping and laughing with them along the path. I’ll never forget that.
Another great memory is being at a “tea house”, which is someone’s house turned into a mini hotel. Bare dirt floors, a few bedrooms, with metal framed beds, and a big fireplace, more like a fire pit, in the living room. My guy friends were asleep in their room, and I went and sat cross legged on the floor in the living room with the circle of women. There were about 10 there. Although they all spoke to each other in a language I couldn’t understand, their laughter was something which needed no translation. The elderly woman sitting next to me looking in my eyes with pure open genuine soulful eyes, all wrinkly from years of living, working, crying, and laughing, leaned in close to me, put her arm around my shoulders, nodding, including me as if I was her own granddaughter. When I left their company, and lay down in my bed, the sounds of their laughter and chatting lulled me to sleep, feeling utterly content.
Really praying for these people now during this earthquake and the aftershocks.
They don’t have our “conveniences”, they had holes in the ground for toilets, and piles of garbage in the streets for dumps, buckets of cold water in sheds for showers in the mountains. When the “Princess” came through Kathmandu with her entourage one evening, all the electricity in the city had to be turned off during that time to make it possible for her to have her procession and where she was staying all lit up.
Another memory of watching people wash their clothes in the same river, where upstream, a man sat continuously beside a fire, next to a temple, to burn into ashes those who had died to let their ashes flow with the river. God have mercy on the Nepalese during this time.