There’s something about Kathmandu that just makes everything all right. After chasing the sunrise from the other side of the planet and being somewhat exhausted and overwhelmed, Kathmandu is utterly energizing. The last thing I want to do is sit still while life happens around me. So out we go, to Swayambunath Temple.
Along the way there’s this oversized painted door, and an undersized square room. In the middle of the room is a floor to ceiling prayer wheel, rotating gently clockwise. The idea is to walk around it and with it clockwise also. Odd how it works, but it does. I go around, and come out the same door I walked in, only moments later, but with a heartbeat half the speed and an instant relaxation and groundedness. It’s like taking a plunge into the ocean – the immediate sensation (for me anyway) that this is where I belong, this planet is my home, and everything is all right. The simple act of walking around a prayer wheel, or stepping into the ocean, both equal homecomings.
A dog barks through the night. In the room next door, a prayer is said aloud for all people in the house. Further down the road, hundreds of goats are awaiting to sacrifice their lives for the festival of Dashain. A few firecrackers echo in the valley. And I’ve just signed off Skyping with my daughter, who had her toes painted at a birthday party yesterday. Her sun is rising, and mine has set. Goodnight Kathmandu. It’s good to be back.