Ladakh Peace... -by kelly klein

April 30, 2013

 The light here is astounding, greets the silence and wraps it in quiet peace. I look to the south, snow covered peaks float behind the sharp brown rocky crests, stupas highlighted by the last rays of sunlight along the ridge. The cold does not outweigh the desire/need to be outside, the powerful silence of the earth as it meets sky draws me again and again.

I spent the last five hours sitting beside a leather-skinned brown man of 94 years, as he spun his prayer wheel, 
mumbling prayers softly. We do not share a common language orally, but we communicate in silence with gestures and smiles, laughter and touch. He teaches me to pray, to be present. When the cold becomes greater, he gestures for us to move into his room where I start a fire in the old homemade stove. Again, we sit, him now with his prayer beads, me beside him with a cat that now frequents our house in the afternoons. 

Every evening, this visiting cat slips into the house, sleeping under my down bag with me through the frigid nights. In the morning, she works her way from under the bedding,  looking to go outside. I open the window and she darts into the cold morning. Crawling back under my bag, I return to a warm sleep only to be awakened again as she crawls back under the covers. The front door must be open as it is spring for Ladakhis  (open doors and windows even if small snow flurries!) and she finds her way back to my room, opening the door and crawling back into the warmth of my down cave. 

She joined “Aba” (father in Ladakhi) and I on the porch, warming ourselves in the last rays of sunlight and followed us to his room, snuggling into his bed and the fire’s warmth.

Rigzen arrived to find us all on his bed, quietly at peace and union. I joined her in the kitchen where another cup of hot tea is placed in my hands. She somehow communicates to me that she is going to milk the cow and when she returns, the two of us will go for a walk. How I understand this is a mystery. It has happened time and time again, where two share no common language, yet communicate seemingly better at times, without it. Needless to say, there are times when I eagerly wish to share my thoughts, feelings, but as I do not have the words in their tongue, it passes. The need passes.

 All is as it is. Passing, changing, as it is.


  1. ...home~refuge...this writing of yours brings a depth to 'moments' felt not only of warmth/comfort but also in like a worth belonging to contentment and sharing...peaceful journey!...

  2. Communicating without any language, wow you teach us things, you make us question our existance. Thanks for writing this blog.

    1. Thank you Menina for sharing, for you receptivity, for your encouragement.


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