On the way to Madhuban, we caught a rare glimpse of Trishula and Nanda Devi. It is usually too misty to see them from where we were staying, and they were not visible when we were on the drive back to Delhi.
In a few hours, I head to the airport for the long ride home, having bathed in the beauty of music and mountains, with, I hope, fresh perspective for the work ahead.
Today, instead of going with the group to visit a Hanuman temple a couple of valleys away (which entailed at least two hours each way of hairpin turns and going through a construction zone so dusty tying a t-shirt or scarf around my head would be necessary and having almost no opportunity to take care of biological needs), I chose to stay back. I honored the spirit of Hanuman with seva in the form of a morning helping tend the grounds.
In the afternoon I will walk into the village with two others who are in residence here. One a Canadian Indian who is a Kabir scholar, the other a Dutch woman who has been spending a month or two every year for the past decade.
There is a Siva festival going on. It is loud even up here on the hill. I will have my earplugs.
I am appreciating getting to connect to the space and the people who live and serve here in a way that I could not when surrounded by the rest of the group. It was very grounding for me, too, to spend a few hours gardening.
As a nontheist, I’ve not been much called to prayer throughout my life. In these days of social crisis though, in addition to taking concrete action, though not directed at a being, I find myself praying as a mode of personal comforting.
We leave Delhi before dawn tomorrow to go up into the Himalayan hills where we will be meditating and chanting in a place of great beauty.
I’m told there’s WiFi. I will no doubt find myself reading the news, signing petitions, and sending comment letters, as well as posting photos, but perhaps not every day.