A pigeon pooped on me as I was deliberating whether to climb up the steps to a shop where this textured silver pendant in Patan was waiting.
The old city of Patan is known for its metal, stone and wood craftsmanship.
El counted 12 steps which looked fairly steep to me. Hence my hesitation.
As I was resisting the move upwards, I felt the cool wetness of pigeon poop on my hair from above like the way sometimes water from dripping laundry feel on us.
So there we were, 3 tourists stuck at the junction along Swotha House with Ron holding up a packet of wet tissue paper while El cleaned away before my shock at the pigeon’s insolence turned into full blown hysteria.
Strangely, as El deftly wiped at my jacket, the ache in my feet also became less severe. So with their help & a renewed shopping vigour, I was able to scale the height that would lead me to a roomful of prayerfully crafted silver & stone jewellery that was the trademark of Patan.
That was how this moon shaped silver pendant came to be with me.
After Patan, we spent a few days at Boudha before we headed back to Singapore.
At the Boudha Stupa I asked for blessings on the pendant, like I do for most purchases that will be in close contact with my body.
I asked that it be a pleasing element to all who see it and to open up ways to advance efforts to help animals.
This habit of blessing things was first inspired by Pablo Neruda’s poem, “Ode to Things,” when I was a young woman. In my adult life, readings on Zen, Shintoism, Judaism, Tibetan Buddhism & shamanism turn this habit into a kind of practice.
3 days after I returned to Singapore, I wore this silver piece to a Freedom Film showcase at The Projector theatre in the Beach Road area.
During the interval a well groomed lady in her early sixties complimented me on my silver pendant and asked where I got it from.
“Nepal? You went to Nepal by yourself?”
She asked incredulously after I had regaled her with tales of my travel.
Her question opened up space for me to share my animal agendas and how in this recent trip, the Universe had provided travel mates to carry over 40kg of medicines and milk to the rescuers of street dogs & cats.
“My daughter is a vet!” She exclaimed.
As I gave details on how we secured animal supplies that were difficult to come by for nepali rescuers of stray dogs and cats, she nodded approvingly.
I spoke of the kindness of ordinary nepali folks I know, and their ingenuity & selflessness in meeting hardship in order to help the voiceless.
“You know, I nearly went to Nepal once. But other things in life took over. After listening to you, I’ll like to try visiting Nepal again,” she shared.
To strengthen her aspiration I took out a new 50 rupee Nepali note bearing the picture of the Snow Leopard on one side and the Himalayas on the other side.
As I handed her the souvenir from Nepal which she received with both hands, I wished her the grace of the Snow Leopard and the steadfastness of the Himalayas in her plan to visit Nepal.
After we parted, I touched the silver pendant that had initiated this exchange of goodwill, and thanked it for travelling all this way from Nepal to Singapore.
And most of all I thanked the Boudha Stupa for not thinking that my trinket was not precious or expensive enough to deserve such a powerful blessing.