Good Morning Nepal! It’s 5:30 a.m.
We at the Vajra Varihi Health Clinic are tossing our sleepy heads in bed while Monks twenty steps out the door are gonging, blowing gloriously long pipes and chanting from the deepest place in their bellies (a daily ritual known as puja: expressions of honor, worship, & devotional attention). Turning over again, the signal for dog singing of all shapes and sizes has begun. Children are walking to school taking no notice of the woman carrying plates loaded with red petaled flowers, candles and other mysterious herbs blessing their doorsteps. A procession of villagers begin to enter the inner courtyard of the Monastery and circle the Gompa clockwise, spin prayer wheels, and pass their best hopes out to the Universe. It’s almost 6:00 a.m.; We have been blessed with a lovely rooftop garden and I can’t resist witnessing the awakening of our village, Chapagaon, from this viewpoint, with a possible glimpse of the Himalayas. Ahh, there they are... and like everyone else on our team, I just can’t believe in one week I will walk amongst them!
Our workday is hours away, however I and my friend Diane have assigned ourselves the task of feeding a few stray dogs that call the inner courtyard their home. Off to the market for a dozen eggs and some milk, I am hoping to build their reserves for the Winter. The Monks share rice with them, so perhaps with the Mange cure we’ve been giving them (boiled lemon skins, from the renowned British Veterinarian Doctor Juliette Baircli de Levy), a few baths, and most importantly recognizing the light in their eyes, this year will be better, and maybe, just maybe, someone will carry on.
Black chickpeas and chapatis for breakfast and I am off to stock the treatment room. Once the doors open, the patients who have often been waiting there for hours, stream in with their shimmering eyes. Many walk for great distances or ride the dizzying microbus for hours, as if it were nothing, having heard from a friend or relative of great benefits received from the clinic. Two things I have noticed in my Nepali people are their extreme patience and their great ability to heal. They come frequently, which is how acupuncture shines, and they believe in the medicines of the Earth. Belief and intention - we talk about it all the time in acupuncture circles; The Nepali people live it.
Some many beautiful, cheerful days of patients sitting together sharing their stories, healing together. My favorite patient, Nuche is recovering from a stroke.
Each treatment another finger can move, the range of motion in his shoulder increases, his foot lifts a little higher. He smiles, he endures, his gratitude is heartbreaking. As he leaves my treatment room with his homemade walking stick and shyly one more time says Namaste, I understand how very lucky I am to be here, in this moment, with this extraordinary man. --Jeanne Mare Werle