Sometimes, when uncertain of a voice from its very loudness,
we catch the missing syllable in the echo.
In God and Nature we have Voice and Echo.
Happy New Year 2014!
Ever since I was around eleven, and “old enough” to stay up with the adults to watch the Times Square ball drop on TV, I haven’t missed ringing in the New Year. But last night, for the first time in some twenty years, I opted to go to bed in 2013 and wake up in 2014. It was glorious. =)
One of the hardest things about a new year is remembering to change the date whenever you write it out. Oddly enough, that was one thing that was not an issue today. On hospital rounds, as elsewhere in the country, we use the Nepali calendar, whose new year happens sometime in mid-April. And since we’re also approximately 57 years ahead of the Gregorian calendar, today was really “just another day” in 2070.
With my afternoon off, I enjoyed a stroll through the beautiful Tansen forest. Back in the 1970’s (our 1970’s), a growing concern over erosion and landslides had prompted the Tansen townspeople to put extensive groves of pine trees across the hillside. It was apparently a huge labor of love by all to plant the trees, make sure they were watered, keep the goats from eating the saplings, etc. In the end, though, an environmental success story well worth the effort!
Here is a musing I’d jotted down upon first discovering the forest several weeks ago:
Hard packed dirt paths wind lazily up through this stand of trees, hushed and cool. The nasal sounds of Hindi music and children’s laughter drift up from the bazaar, as trucks clatter loudly along rough roads far below. A thick layer of pine needles carpets the path under my feet, dappled warmly by the late-afternoon sun filtering down through the canopy. This orange light plays on trees and rocks, before setting low beyond a distant mountain ridge. It is surreally still, suffused with a sense of timelessness. In this eternal moment, one senses that perhaps they were made for great things; I feel caught up in a story of epic proportions, reaching out far beyond my own. It is a beautiful afternoon.
After coming down from this mountain, I had a scrumptious New Year’s dinner with my friends the Hough’s, along with several other friends in our Gairi Gau neighborhood. It was a fantastic time, full of laughter and stories and fun lasting late into the evening.
I hope you also enjoyed a strong start to this New Year, with best wishes to all for a beautiful 2014!