“May the road rise up to meet you.”
10 Dec 2018
On the first day when we were settling into our lodging at Boudha Stupa, the first line of an Irish blessing kept playing in my head like a song that wouldn’t stop.
I was puzzled that the Gaelic benediction, “May the road rise up to meet you,” should find its way to me while I was in an obviously very buddhist setting.
The Buddha Stupa is also known as the Mandala of World Peace. El took this picture when I was on the terrace of Hotel Padma, giving thanks.
The next day we met our friend who would guide us to the dog treatment centre for which we had brought some meds and animal supplies to support local people helping street dogs.
I always approach such journeys with a mixture of joy and worry. Joy, because we are meeting the animals and their carers. But because I have hardly any control over my left ankle, any obstacle the size of an acorn on the road can cause me to lose my balance. I constantly worry about falls.
To add a touch of absurdity to my undertaking, there are the chaotic traffic and roadless terrains in the city where we stayed, even without the challenge of reaching remote locations of animal relief setups in this Himalayan country.
Chaotic traffic & poor road conditions are hurdles even for local folks.
As our taxi neared the hill where the treatment centre was located, our friend declared merrily that we had come at a very good time. The recent monsoon storm had opened up a new path and created a short cut to our destination!
“A week ago this road we’re now on didn’t even exist. We would have to cross that bridge over there to reach the centre. It’s a long walk,” she said with relief as she pointed us to a bridge in the distance. It had been the only access to their centre before the storm.
“Now we can practically drive up to the village!” she declared brightly, as if a special prayer had been granted.
I felt a bit emotional as my eyes took in the heaps of sand & chunks of road building materials surrounding us while the river gushed below.
So this is a new path.
I told her about the Irish blessing that had been playing in my head since I entered the Boudha Stupa.
“Good! Then you must come here more often. Now we have a new road because of you!” she smiled kindly.
And who could have known that the fearsome monsoon storms that cause such havocs would also create a new road that eases the life of handicapped people like me and grant travelling ease to villagers and animal rescuers in that vicinity?
So with a grateful heart, I wish for all my friends & every sentient being a calm & hopeful spirit in times of uncertainties.
And if there are storms in your lives, may they open up new roads to meet you as they did for me & my friends in Nepal.