Beauty in the night

Electricity and water never run continuously here in Nepal, though now, in the rainy season, they work for about 18-20 hours a day (since much of the power is generated hydroelectrically). People here get used to getting by. Places that cater to Westerners always have backup generators. Here a young man is watching the family store in the evening, doing his homework by candlelight. 

I find the power outages a nice excuse for a break from working, and took the time to smoke my pipe on the roof. It was drizzling, so I was going to stay on the lower part of the roof where there is an overhang, but the innkeeper was there and told me that the view from the upper roof was much better and that I should go up there. When I tried to protest that it was raining he just looked at me with incomprehension. It was really only “misting”, which, for here, was almost like sunshine. Another thing that people get used to here is being outside in the rain, with no umbrella or raincoat. Eventually the rain stops and you dry off.

 So up I went to the roof to smoke my pipe. It really was beautiful, with a view of the Hyatt and the neighboring monasteries (the Hyatt is the large, illuminated building in the photo). After a few minutes I noticed another smell along with my cherry tobacco—night blooming jasmine.

There are few smells that I love more than night-blooming jasmine. It is so powerful and beautiful. I hadn’t noticed it in the day, which is not uncommon. Night-blooming jasmine doesn’t look like much by day and the flowers are hardly noticeable and have no scent at all during the day. But when the sun goes down they burst forth this amazing smell in waves.

Suddenly I was surrounded by beauty: pipe tobacco, jasmine, distant lights, and just enough mist to soften the heat of the day. Moments like this melt away the frustrations of the day and say, along with Julian of Norwich “all will be well, all manner of things will be well.”

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