Home like a ruby beacon burns."
--from "The Homecoming" by Barbara Howes
("Buddha Point", an enormous sitting Buddha currently under construction overlooking Thimphu, as seen from the College about five miles away)
One of the challenges of travel is aptly described by a general law of physics: bodies in motion tend to stay in motion, bodies at rest remain at rest. When your body stays in motion for two weeks and covers over 20,000 miles and 13 time zones, it's not an easy thing to come to rest. But this particular challenge actually brings me great comfort: to be a person who loves the adventure and the return equally feels like a perfect balance of being in the world. I am not perfect, or even close, in any other way, but in my appreciation for travel and my pleasure at being home in my own bed, I feel I have some equilibrium.
And I do have, have had from the day I left home and said goodbye to Jim at the airport, an "arc of thought" like Howes describes. I suspect that as I look back at this trip from a perch in my future, it may appear as something of a line of demarcation both personally and professionally. I have no idea at this moment what the path in the years ahead...even the weeks and months ahead...holds for me. But I know I will travel it with an open heart and the support of kind friends and loyal family, many of you among the readers of this blog. I appreciate your taking the journey with me. I'll leave you with two pictures that I hope give you some indication of my state of mind, heart and soul as I head into what I could call the next chapter, but who knows? It may be a whole new book.
The first is a picture Betsy took of me in Paro, spinning a giant prayer wheel. Each rotation rang a bell, sending my prayer for enlightenment heavenward. If it's enlightenment I am seeking at this moment in my life, I could do worse than end up looking for it in this tiny kingdom that is sometimes called the land between heaven and earth, a place that for a thousand years has been a destination for pilgrims hoping to find peace.
The second picture is not from this trip. It was taken by my father when I was three, at a wild west-themed amusement park my family visited during the summer we lived in Arizona (if only I could blog in hindsight...). I'm with my brother Bobby who was 17 at the time. We're sitting in a funhouse car, about to enter a dark tunnel. Bobby is accommodating my father whom I assume wanted a shot of the two of us. I, however, am firmly focused on what is ahead, smiling slightly as I anticipate the car's movement forward. My arm, though, is draped over Bobby's knee, seeking some assurance from my big brother that he was going, too, that I wouldn't be alone.
I think that's me at this moment: focused on the future. Though I have no idea what it will be, I know I can rely on the kindness and encouragement of those who love me--family and friends--to keep moving forward. Off I go.
Kadriche. Namaste. Thanks. Peace.