Day Three–to Dolma Ling

We tumbled off the train early and struggled through the throng of porters out to the piercing day. Adam, as usual, eagerly helped out with carrying baggage and filling jeeps. He really is a great help. It was nice to hop into the relative comfort of the car and pull out onto the road for our drive.

Himachal Pradesh is so green compared to the relative dusty and cluttered New Delhi. Surrounded by farmland and full of cows, horses, and water buffalo it is a really beautiful place. In fact, it is perhaps one of the most beautiful places I think I have seen. Suddenly we pulled into the pristine looking Jyoti Hotel and trickled out to wash and eat breakfast.

I feel more at home here than I have felt anywhere for a long time. It’s funny how that can happen in such a ‘foreign’ place. I can’t wait to see the mountains. I have wanted to see them, the towering Himalayas, since I was a little girl. This whole trip is a dream come true, a slice of hope long overdue.

It’s getting more difficult to enunciate how I feel. I seem to have entered an unintentional fast. Perhaps I will break it soon, perhaps after those mountains. Perhaps not. I also haven’t slept in two days. Yet, it all seems so natural to me. This trip is about fulfilling a part of myself, finding that part I lost so long ago.

It would also appear that I intend to be silent-at least in the audible realm, and at least for now. The sky is so blue, the vegetation so geen, what else needs to be said? Speaking is an affront to this beauty. Words are so crass, so meaningless in the face of this creation. I can feel my soul starting to breathe… finally, exquisitely.

Once we finally struggle, rather unwillingly back into the jeeps, we head off towards the mountains and Dolma Ling Nunnery. As we drive I start to see the mountains rising in the distance, dark smudges against the powder blue sky and my heart beats faster. Our car is silent, each wrapped in their own thoughts. It’s nice, silence. I forgot just how nice.

Although the towns and roads are busy here too, it’s a different kind of hustle. There’s not as much obvious hardship as people go about their daily lives. The beggars are not so populous and the air not so polluted. It’s a laid back sort of clutter. I like it, I think. I like it a lot. As we climb higher, we seem to visibly leave the dirt and layers of atmosphere behind, the sky growing brighter with every incline. I have to remember to breathe.

And then… there they are. The Himalayas. I cry like a baby. They’re so beautiful, so majestic. So much like everything I ever imagined. I can’t believe I’m seeing them. I can’t believe I’m here. Finally it hits me like a speeding truck; I am in India. I am here.

After two or three more hours we finally arrive in Dolma Ling Nunnery. It’s beauty and stillness is palpable. The architecture mirrors the mountains and it takes one’s breath away. The floors are smooth, the walls white, the wood rich, the accents deep maroon. I stand for a few minutes, unable to move, before finally heading to the room where the tears flow once again.

Sitting staring out of the window into the valley below a thought crawls unobtrusively into my mind; this is what it feels like to be home, it whispers, this is what it feels like to be home…

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