The day begins as have the last 7. I awaken early, the call of the singular bird the conductor to the symphony of birds to soon follow. In one moment, all comes to life: the gong from nearby Sheshen monastery calling the monks to morning prayer, dogs barking, motorcycles revving, the local mobile tea merchant calling out. I dress quickly in the early light and walk through the cobbled alleyways to the Bouddarth Stupa, one of the two most important in Kathmandu. The mass of circumambulating bodies draws me in and I join thousands of the devout- in varying shapes, sizes, age, physical ability and disability, traditional and western dress.
We circumvent prostrate bodies praying, the local dogs will sleeping since they have been up all nite defending their territory, the physically disabled making their way, in any way their can. Their prayers permeate my soul and I find myself chanting along, though not knowing the words. Malas (prayer beads) swing back and forth from old weathered hands
Incense infuses the atmosphere, I carry the scent with me at all times here. (A blessing since the air pollution is quite intense). My air passages continue to adjust. Its a wild circus for the senses. Yet I never feel assaulted in the same was as I have in India. The "Namaste" greeting (the soul in me sees the soul in you) sets the tone of honor and respect.