Lamayuru Gompa is grappled anchor tight to it’s mountain perch 13,000 feet above sea level.
Ancient guardian to the meandering rift valley passes of Northern Ladakh.
Towering dizzyingly high above a lost in time village’s hotchpotch sprawl of spartan one or two floor stone dwellings –
Grimy glass windows into people’s lives.
Who lives inside those houses so faraway from all of the world?
Windows peering down on an intricate maze of serpentine tracks –
Delicate, interwoven network of winding gravel trails connecting people’s homes, people’s lives together.
But in spite of daily survival’s sheer hardship, this unmistakable feeling of being genuinely welcome.
One tight-knit community surviving together as a whole.
Amidst burgeoning thunder clouds plummeting down the snow clad palisade of the jagged Indian Himalaya.
Pall of grey-white fluff rolling down insanely steep slopes of needle sharp scree.
I trudge back – racing pulse – to my tiny monastic cell at the Hotel Dragon.
Fat, squat candle stump lighting up a single threadbare cotton curtain hanging on to its flimsy wicker rail.
Children playing outside on a frigid midsummer evening.
Dwindling raking sunlight filtering through the gargantuan backbone of 20,000 foot mountain peaks arrayed all around me, as far into the distance as I can see.
Sharing my host’s home –
So I do know now what lies within these dwellings since I too have shared them.
Bed drawn up close against the peeling plaster wall right next to my room’s solitary square window.
Woollen blankets, spotless lavender perfumed linen, creaking sprung mattress.
Reading Kerouac by candle light.
Reflecting, wondering how far I’ve come.
Wondering where I’m going next.
Simplicity of life travelled light.
Leaving much that has burdened me behind.
And doing perfectly well without all the clutter I once grasped onto jealously.
Stifling the life within my soul.
Freed from the shackles chaining me down to a life that just wasn’t mine.
Copyright (c) David Bugeja 2013, 2016 All rights reserved