A little back tracking…
On Monday morning the women in the group went to a Nunnery – no Shakespeare jokes please! It was interesting, we met quite a few women and wandered around the buildings generally poking our noses and cameras into most everything. There was a prayer ceremony going on – I really love the sounds of the nuns even without any idea of what they are chanting. Several people were having some sort of “Tea Ceremony” – the senior nun started a new chant and the participants poured their tea – very, very slowly as long as the voices continued – about 10 minutes I think. It was quite fascinating and I am quite clueless really.
I was struck by several things: these women are seriously into pink – I get that their habits are mostly pink with a deeper pinky-red under skirt or tunic but the curtains were pink – floral, the dining hall walls were pink and of course all the laundry hanging everywhere to dry was pink! Not-withstanding major pinkness, the atmosphere was both serene and energizing. The convent is infinitely richer and considerably more “luxurious” than the one I visited in Ladakh but the intent is the same I think.
I had just about exhausted my photo opportunities and was returning to the front entrance when I met the Abbess. I kid you not but we both took one look at each other and felt an immediate connection. We sat down, commandeered Win Win to translate – such a patient man – and proceeded to connect on a level I have never experienced before. We spent the entire time holding hands and hugging. It was like finding a long lost loved one, a mentor, a guide and a best friend all wrapped up in one! I don’t know her name – really not important in the scheme of things I suppose and she is this tiny little bird of a woman – her hands were so small that she could only hold two of my fingers and she will be 80 in a couple of weeks.
People often say that this or that thing was “magical” but that half hour or so transcended any magic i have ever experienced before. I find myself frustrated without sufficient or adequate words to describe the encounter. Perhaps when I have some time for reflection….?