Paro, Bhutan, 24 JULY 2016.
A trek to the Tiger’s Nest.
For the first time I saw God up close. At every moment of need he made his presence felt.
We trekked in constant showers to a place we could hardly see, deeply covered in blankets of fog, yet something kept us going. At halfway mark, the fog cleared and gave me and my fellow trekkers a glimpse of the much-anticipated Takstsang.
The path was steep and crooked with swampy soil and puddles all the way. I fell, I slipped and got hurt a few times but I kept going and why? Curiosity does that to you. All the while I kept wondering how the monks did it every day for years and for centuries. They knew the path too well and probably made friends with it.
The lush green forest, the bubbly chirpy birds, the enormous mountains, the gushing streams and the milky clouds had a game of their own. The played hide and seek through the day and rested away at night. The air I was breathing was pristine as it smelt of the wet earth, the dried leaves and everything around that harmonized with nature. Each smell and sound so distinct that made its place in the forest so important.
He was a part of everything, the people, the animals, the Buddha who sat in heart of the nest, every stone that the mountain composed of, every leaf adding to the tree cover in the forest, every single droplet of water that showered from the sky. He was magic! I knew he was there assuring and protecting us. All my life I doubted the presence of a holy spirit but with this trek I know God and nature are the same words spelt differently. Needless to say, I felt safe because nature embraced me. I felt secure in the arms of the almighty. However, his majesty made me question ‘my identity’. I felt small and insignificant when compared to his awe. For the first time in 26 years I reckoned, “Who am I?”.
Today, I sit here reminiscing that Day with him. It appears that I left a part of me there in the mountains to soak his serenity.