Monday, July 13, 2009

More Sweet than Bitter

Suggested soundtrack for this post can be found HERE.

In 30 days…

…I won’t be able to look out my window and see the snow-topped Himalayas.

…I won’t be able to turn my kids loose to go climb and explore and build caves right outside our house.

…we won’t be able to mosey across the street and spend an afternoon exploring every nook and cranny of an ancient monastery with a jolly and playful friend who happens to have the keys to everything.

…there won’t be any more Kashmiri apple juice.  Especially not at $1/liter.

…I won’t see 48 sweet smiling little boys shyly grinning at me every time I go outside.

…there won’t be friendly strangers herding their cows past my house, waving and shouting out, “Ju-lay!” all day long.

…the day won’t start with happy kids calling, “KEED-ISS!” in hopes of seeing my husband on their way to school. 

…no one will drop off sacks of dried cheese or peas as a housewarming gift.

…pairs of shy monks will no longer turn up at my door to deliver food and tea all day long.

…my kids will not be swept up by friendly monks for a walk, game of Carrom, or impromptu Ladakhi lesson.

…I won’t be able to sit in the yard knitting while I watch magpies careening against a backdrop of acid-green trees and craggy, barren, beautiful mountains.

…my family won’t be lulled to sleep by the burble of a glacial stream. 

…I won’t get a Ladakhi/cooking lesson, nor will I give a mini English lesson every time I take out the compost,

…I will live in a home with many fewer windows and not nearly as much dazzling sunshine.

…I’ll sweat again.  A lot.

…I’ll have to shave my legs again.

…going to the store won’t be an adventure full of fun, a chance to learn a new language and make a new friend, even if the store has nothing at all that I needed to buy.

…I’m going to be spending a lot more money for everything.

…my kids will probably be watching more TV and having more computer time.

…and so will Chris and I.

…I won’t be able to go sit in a Buddhist temple or teaching hall anytime I want.

…an enormous Buddha won’t be watching over me and my family.

…my husband won’t be able to get up at 5am and after a quick walk, spend a few hours working in his office before coming back home for breakfast.

…my days won’t be shaped by the singing and chanting of monks and the ringing of bells. 

…I won’t see knitting-inspiration every time someone takes off their shoes.

…our family won’t have the option of  feasting on Ladakhi food in the monastery kitchen for lunch and dinner every day.

…I will have to wait much much longer for veg-cheese khotay (pan-fried momos).

…we won’t be in the midst of a community so instinctively and uniformly oriented toward mutual support.

…going into town won’t be nearly as exciting and as highly anticipated as it is now.

…my family won’t spend nearly as much meaningful time together, drawing, reading, exploring outdoors and playing games.

…varied and interesting people from all over the world won’t wander down my street and through my house everyday, ripe for conversation and the sharing of travel tales.

…my family won’t be so closely enveloped by a foster family of the most cheerful, light-hearted and genuinely caring people I’ve ever met. 


And in 30 days…

… my bedroom, my children’s bedrooms, the dining room, living room and kitchen will all be separate, different rooms.

…my bathroom will have a toilet, complete with toilet seat, a shower and tub that are not just knobs sticking out of the wall, and it will be inside my house.

…hot water will come out of all the hot water taps anytime I want it to.

…hot water will come  to those taps from a great big tank in the basement, to which I have to do nothing, instead of a huge kettle sitting on a wood fire.

…I will keep my food in a refrigerator and cupboards, not a cardboard box.

…I will be able to bake, in an oven, in my house.

…I will have all the coffee I want.  Lattes, even.

…I will be able to walk to the library with my kids.

…we will wash our laundry in our own washing machine, with hot water, in our basement, anytime we want to.

…food will come from a grocery store that I can reach in a matter of minutes, any day I need to.

…I will be reasonably confident that any store I walk into will have the items I wish to purchase, and that I will be able to get a fair price, even though I’m white, and without an argument.

…I will be able to wear shorts and sleeveless tops without fear of being thought a brazen hussy.

…my husband and I will be able to hold hands (or even smooch!) in public without scandalizing all and sundry.

…my children will no longer fear cheek-pinchers every time we go out.

…my snot won’t be black from all the dust and dirt in the air.

…toilet paper will no longer be a scarce and precious resource.

…I will be able to eat good deep dark chocolate whenever I want it.

…my kids will be able to order food in a restaurant or eat at friend’s house without fear of it being nuclear hot and unpalatable to them.

…I will be able to take a hot shower more than twice a week and not feel the least bit guilty about it.

…there will be electricity 24/7, pretty much no matter what.

… my presence in my house, my activities and my husband’s work won’t be a source of curiosity and consternation to tourists who randomly walk thorough my yard, taking pictures of my friends without asking permission first, lost in the fiction of their 'spiritual adventure' in India.

…I will wash my dishes in a sink, in my kitchen, inside my house, with hot water, standing up, with the lights on, anytime of the day or night.

…my family will be able to get out a glass, turn on the faucet, fill the glass with water and drink it directly. 

…we’ll be able to brush our teeth and rinse the toothbrushes under the tap.

…I’ll be getting back to birth work, and hopefully midwifery training.

…I will be able to call friends and family on the phone anytime I want.

…we’ll all be able to see and hug and talk to all of your that we love and have missed so very much for the past 10 months.




Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post. Thirty days will go fast. I"m so glad I got to live a bit vicariously through your blog! Thanks for sharing.

Susannah said...

2. such a sweet post

margaret said...

yes, a beautiful post.
if you find lexington lacking in all your tibetan buddhist comforts, a trip to brooklyn might help. we have momos just about 50 paces from the front door!

Sunflower Hill Farm said...

What an amazing adventure. Thank you for sharing some of it with us. There will be lots to miss and look forward to, but I bet you'll never be the same. Your life has been touched by this event forever. Most people search forever trying to have that kind of awakening. Blessings as you head home!