Snapshots from Bhutan

by gaynorfitzgibbon

How delicate the myriad purple faces that highlight a vast green blanket stretching as far as the eye can see!  A timid yet reverent bow from time to time, a gentle sway as mountain breezes quickly pass. And there, a little patch of orange, bobbles of brightness amidst companions more deeply painted. Outnumbered but never daunted; a meadow of cheerfulness that paves the way, the route, the journey to higher realms.

So tiny, so tiny yet so resilient, matching in courage even the tallest shadows that cast their profile in serrated formation between one terrain and the next, guiding us to look beyond the patchwork landscape of olive green, sage green, browns, grey and deep deep blues. A pretty purple prologue to what follows if we dare to venture.

Let us rest a while. Let us take a moment to catch our breath and with our hearts to witness this panorama. And when ready…speak to me…

Speak to me of mountains, of peaks and troughs and valleys far and wide, of snow clad summits that rise, pristine white into clear blue skies and puffy white clouds heavy with the songs of gods. Speak to me of far-away vistas.

Speak to me of white-washed temples that squarely stand on high held planes, solid and sturdy, simple, homely exteriors, embellished wooden door and window frames their only superficial indulgence.  Enter and that’s another story, of dusky interiors and gilded figurines, and rituals – the happenings of incantations, chants and meditation, of hypnotic smells from burning incense and votive offerings, as butter melts and drips away and with it thoughts and fears and pain – and perhaps a futile dream or two.

Speak to me of men in robes, of saffron clad figures who stand and gaze beyond, who see what is to be seen on far horizons yet smile knowingly as inwardly, there is nothing to be seen. Years of solitude and vibrant prayer have taught them the tranquility of inner wisdom, the silent strength of man’s true nature.

Speak to me of light, the radiance that feeds row upon row of flickering flames that burn to heal the souls of the dead – and the living.

Speak to me of happy lands, of smiles and laughter and children’s cheery faces. Of babes, with dirt smeared cheeks, tear stained, until the sun gently dries them and a mother’s tender touch soothes their cries that quickly change to giggles of delight. Speak to me of weather beaten skin, rugged and deeply wrinkled with age and eyes that glisten brightly.  Elders, calmly waiting their time, contented, warmed by memories and the knowledge that life is love and laughter, pain and sorrow, joy and disappointment and every anxious or ecstatic moment in between. And with that certainty they know that only all complete us, when life’s long journey is complete itself.

Speak to me of this.

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