What’s happening where you are?
I hope you are happy and healthy.
Our soggy but beautiful world here in Nepal is described below.
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Stay well. Love, Tenzin
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Monsooner or Later This Rain Has To Stop!
It is wet for months in a row, but delicious Fiddlehead ferns grow by the lake. Quiet streets become even quieter. Cows, oxen, and dogs amble down main avenues enjoying the leeway allowed by thinner traffic. Human couples with arms around each other share romantic moments under a single umbrella. Smoky clouds airbrush the green hills in an effect more beautiful than any artist can affect. Stifling heat relaxes its grip as cooling breezes accompany precipitation. Daydreams, aspirations, and intentions that were bogged down in stifling heat and humidity now travel easily upon the refreshing breezes.
It is still monsoon season in Nepal. Most of the precipitation is light and whimsical. Some is a lot more serious. Have you ever seen a full tilt monsoon rain? It is an awesome spectacle to watch from inside the comfort of your home — but it can be a dangerous inconvenience if you are caught outside on a severely monsooning day.
Nepal struggles with heavy rains that last for at least one fourth of the year. The rains cause flooding and landslides in many rural areas. Pokhara, gateway to the Himalayas for many trekkers, is the wettest city in the nation! The Himalayas are on one side of town. Fewa Lake is on the other. Even when the sun is clouded it can bake everything. Monsoon rains often start gathering in the early day’s heat and literally pick up steam during the mid-afternoon hours. Water evaporates into the air from the lake itself as well as from the jungle vegetation surrounding it.
Sudden explosive releases can produce enough water to flash flood a plain, cause landslides on the muddy mountains in countryside areas, and ruin crops. Pokhara has a relatively easy time of it. Most of its tourist area consists of paved hills that run down into the lake, as does the water from our seasonal downpours. Rain from the stronger, more extended storms flow down this city’s hills like a web of small rivers.
On most days, we see only moderate downpours — but on severe days the flow can gather a dangerous strength. Small animals have been swept into the lake as currents that can drown a dog turn streets into viaducts.
The rains are a welcomed change from the severe heat that precedes them, but after a few months folks start to feel like bloated human sponges. We wait for the sun, and for the cooler temperatures of autumn and winter.
The heavy humidity between rains is more uncomfortable than the rain itself! No one loves a humidity that makes breathing more difficult, or has them feeling like they need another shower almost as soon as they get out of the shower. Life under this atmospheric hot, wet blanket struggles to get on with itself as if moving through molasses.
But these clouds come with a lot of silver linings. There is a lot to love about the monsoon time! The area enjoys a year-round green covering that puts emeralds to shame. Monsoon season sponsors lush jungle vegetation comparable in beauty to that of Vermont, Ireland, or anywhere else in the world. The fish and birds as well as the humans are abundantly happy with all the vegetation, and with all the other food that the big rains stir up and bring to the surface for them.
Even during a non-pandemic banner year for tourism, monsoon time is the slow season. The streets, stores, and scenic lakeside area are all less crowded. Everything moves at a mellower pace. Folks have more time to hang out and talk. Humans get more relaxed. Happiness often gets more creative. One of my favorite things to do is quack like a duck while flapping my arms like a bird for the kids. The children always laugh and the parents occasionally do too. It is also fun to walk up on a complete stranger that is getting wet and hold your umbrella over their head. This action is not considered quite so off-the-wall here in Nepal as it might be in Beijing or New York. The citizens of this country are very tribal and, whether they know each other or not, routinely call each other “bai” (brother) and “bai ni” (sister). It is one of Nepal’s many wonderful character traits.
Besides the adults enjoying a more relaxed pace, the children and dogs enjoy the puddles! Canines and toddlers both love to jump up and down in their mini sidewalk “swimming pools.”
All the water coming from the sky doesn’t stop folks from getting into more water on the ground. We can’t let rain stop us or we’d never be able to leave the house! I have gone swimming in an outdoor pool and taken paddle boat rides around the lake in these monsoon rains. This water-above-and-water-below thing makes “I’m a fish” and “I’m a duck” daydreams both very easy to come by.
Monsoon rains are as much a part of Nepali life as rice, Shiva, lentils, and Buddha.
The options are to either move to a different section of Earth, or to stay and deal with the difficulties while enjoying the beauty and benefits.
Like so many things in life, monsoon season in Pokhara is hard to live with and impossible to live without.
The monsoon rains here are our beloved porcupines. We hug them.
Legend of the Porcupines (origin and author unknown)
“It was the coldest winter ever. Many animals died because of the cold. The porcupines, realizing their dire situation, decided to group together. They successfully covered each other and protected themselves — but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions while they gave off heat to each other. After a while, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and began to die, alone and frozen.
So they had to make a choice to either accept the stinging quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth. They wisely decided to go back to being together. This way they learned to live with the little wounds that were caused by the close relationship with companions because the most important part of it was the heat that came from the others. This way they were able to survive.
Moral of the story: The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people. The best kind of relationship happens when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and admire the other person’s good qualities.”
About the Author
Doug Ten Rose has hitchhiked around America for 40 years, encountering Tibetan Lamas, Native American wise people, Senators, Governors, Junkies, Winos, Hookers, Rock stars, An all-lesbian rock band playing a concert for the deaf, The modern-day Robin Hood And a whole lot more…
These and many other amazing characters are described in Fearless Puppy on American Road.
“Ten” was also rescued and adopted by a temple full of Monks and Nuns in Southeast Asia. He stayed there for a half-year, although not studying Buddhism (certainly not in any conventional sense!).
Read more about that in his second offering: Reincarnation Through Common Sense.
Follow him on Facebook, Doug Ten Rose
Many thanks to our wonderful friends at Pema Boutique Hotel for their help and support.
The books Fearless Puppy On American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense by this same author are also available through Amazon or the Fearless Puppy website, where there are sample chapters from those books. Entertaining TV/radio interviews with and newspaper articles about the author are also available there. There is no charge for anything but the complete books! All author profits from book sales will be donated to help sponsor an increase in the number of wisdom professionals on Earth, beginning with but certainly not limited to Buddhist monks and nuns.
If you missed the Introduction to the new book that will be titled Temple Dog Soldier, or would like to see several chapters of it that are available for free online, go to the Puppy website Blog section. This is a book in progress. You will be reading it as it is being created! Just like you, I don’t know what the next chapter is going to be about until it is written. As the Intro will tell you, this is a totally true story — and probably the only book ever written by and about a corpse journeying completely around the world!