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Nepalese Notebook: September 25th, 2014

September 25th, 2014Besi Sahar 760m.
You never expect it, but the high mountains soon give way to the low, and the day comes when it is cloudy and humid and easy to forget what is near.  Everything simply disappears without importance, and even if we believe in it, have seen it with our own eyes and accept it wholeheartedly, the lapse is too great, change is too certain, and what was once a thousand year old glacier is now the fountain you drink out of.  Now it is only a busy little Nepalese town where colorful buses pass, where street vendors and shops remind you of the growing indifference of what had once seemed normal, and a fleeting sense of accomplishment gives way to restlessness.  Could we have done more?  Having the trek over is short-lived, and looking back upon the hardships of the trail reminds one of a melancholic sort of comfort that creates new adventures and even more hardships before the time it takes your muscles to recuperate from the previous journey.  Pushing onese…

Nepalese Notebook: September 11th, 2014

September 11th, 2014

Soti Khola 700m.

Kindness is without a voice and lives in quiet places, and when it is secluded, it is wide-eyed, rugged, and delicate.  We have come to the end of the gravel road that leads from Arughat; behind us lies an unstable bridge and before us a deep gorge with a new bridge spanning its edges.  The donkey caravans pass through, however, loaded with bags of unknowable merchandise for Tibet, and this turns out to be somewhat of a comfort as we sit on the porch of our guest-house and watch them.  The family that owns this place consists of a grandfather and grandmother, their two daughters, one child and one baby, the baby and the child being so well cared for that I could not tell to which daughter they belonged.  Sometimes we want so much to experience something that we forget to be genuine, and it almost seemed in vain to compliment our hosts for their cooking or their care because of how uninhibited they were amongst themselves.  The grandmother carlessly, but with such a subtle amount of tenderness, swings the baby by the arm and leg in a circle and everyone laughs; the grandfather leads me down an unbelievably dark hallway to show me how the light in our room works at night; all of them pass the time without thinking of it, and we were merely given a glimpse of this hidden world.  There were more bridges to be spanned though; the trail is starting to rise and become narrow, and it is with somewhat of a nervous expectation that I look up as evening sets and count the swirlings of cook smoke on the mountain-side, longing already for the kind reception they gave us, and selfishly hoping that they might remember me.

Douglas Thornton

Comments

  1. Absolutely love this story, I have never heard it before, it makes me want to be right there with you. Its funny how the people that have the least amount of things are the happiest people and the most generous.

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