We have a new phone number that is local to Dharamsala: +91 9816559564
So, we are in Dharamkat, which is just up the mountain from McCleod Ganj, where the Dhali Lama stays. It is absolutely gorgeous here. A friend of Margi’s (We love you, Angus!) has a house here and it’s just gorgeous. We are in the mountains with the most magnificent view. The mountain which slopes in from the right is covered with layers and layers of pine trees. The contrast is incredible against the lighter green of the deciduous trees coming in from the left. And then are the bald spots, which Margi says are shale, although I have never seen shale which shines like this. Margi calls it desert varnish. On the top of the ridge, there is snow. If you walk down the hill towards the tea house, there is a majestic Himalayan snow-capped peak. The whiteness of it is blinding. Our porch is exposed to the morning sun and morning is the most peaceful time. I don’t know how, but I am awake for it and I love that cozy warmth of the sun which is not hot, but envelops you and gives you the right amount of heat all the way to your core. It’s like putting on clothes straight from the dryer. I much prefer it to the winter wind which travels through your bones.
Margi has had so much more energy here than in Delhi. It is quite obvious that her heart and soul are at peace here. She is a different person. Her appetite is healthy. Chatty and involved and making plans. She is dreaming and has motivation to begin working again, neither of which has she really experienced since her diagnosis. It is so wonderful to be spending time with her and learning more about her and about the family. I do wish that I had taken this opportunity earlier in life. There is a lot about us that is the same, which I suppose may score nature some points in the battle of nature vs nurture. Generally I tend to side with nurture, but nature has won this one. Some of the similarities I would chalk up to nurture. Those are some of the personality things which I see in myself, though also Daddy and Granddaddy. But there are also things that cannot be explained that way. Like the fact that we both gag in the morning if we brush our teeth too soon or the fact that our signatures might be indistinguishable to some- the last name anyhow. It’s fascinating.
We are all very happy here- and at peace, though it was quite the journey from Delhi. It is a long trip, maybe 11 hours from Delhi. We weren’t able to leave so early in the morning, so we did the last bit of the journey--the steep curvy narrow mud-slide ridden (actually rocks and gravel, but I didn’t know that at the time) road--in the dark. We keep going up and up until we can go no more because the road is blocked (must be around midnight) and it turns out that we had actually passed the house. It was quite the night. Of course the story is more complicated than just that, but it is a very long story and I will let someone else give their version of it. There are oh so many.... Five, to be exact (driver included).
I have more stories to tell, but I will save them for another day.
Susan, we miss you already...