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Photo by Kendall Marianacci, Nepal Semester.

The Wheel

The wheel of my life is ever turning. Nothing I can do will change that ancient truth. My mind may flit back and forth and from past experiences, but onwards the wheel turns. It’s strange. I remember my first day in Patan so clearly. The strange dust, the foreign buildings, the alien spaces. The noise, the weird smells, the stunning medieval woodcarving and architecture. I remember getting lost in the skinny alleyways, courtyard to courtyard. Giant souring stupa, to quiet dark chaitya. Getting lost in the exhilaration of the new; the unknown, where these old city roads take us. The warm smiles of strangers, and small children kindly responding to a foreigner’s namaste. I remember the kind eyes and mouths of a couple who took a strange white guy under their wings, fated to become objects of his infinite love and admiration. The first night, awkwardly shoving festival foods into his resistant mouth as the fire of spice wrecked havoc on his tongue. I remember the city lights, water towers and honking bikes fading under the starry sky in the distance, as these memories will as the wheel of this life continues to turn. I see now how quickly it all passed, this period of my life, as I sit here among the pines. Eventually, all will pass, as the wheel makes it final rotation. The temple crumbles, the lake evaporates, the marigold decays, memories fade. As they pass, so shall I. This amazing cosmos of complexity and raw beauty that is the self will fade away. But for now I see a vibrant marigold, verdant leaves, a stranger’s smile, ancient peaks. No use fretting about the inevitable. Just embracing the wheel with all the senses, as it turns on, and on, and on into the unknown