a sabbatical rest, day 152
Kathmandu lockdown, day 31
“Nature was here a series of wonders, and a fund of delight.”Daniel Boone
I’m not a “stop and smell the roses” kind of guy, but perhaps I should be. At least here in Nepal, at this time of year, everything that can bloom is blooming. It’s late spring, right before the summer monsoons begin, and since late February our walks have taken us through a seasonal feast for the eyes.
It’s hard to imagine. Westerners have seen the pictures and the movies: snow-capped peaks and rugged landscape. I’ve already written about that. But the country itself is subtropical. In fact, Kathmandu is the same latitude as Orlando, Florida.
I’m a fifth-generation Floridian and grew up eating grapefruit and guavas. Long after moving to Michigan, I remember waking up on a back porch in the Dominican Republic where I was researching a script. I could smell the grapefruit on a tree outside my window and was overwhelmed with homesickness.
I’m not homesick here. I have learned home is temporary and transient, in this world at least. But I have enjoyed and embraced the smells and tastes of this beautiful country, especially the fresh fruit, which includes bananas, oranges, apples (from the nearby mountains), and papaya. The orange I had today was so juicy I should have eaten it over the sink. And I love fresh papaya, served with yogurt and cereal. They even have grits, mustard greens, and black-eyed peas, more memories of childhood staples. And delights.
Then there are the flowers. Most apartments and homes have rooftop terraces, usually with gardens. Stores and banks often have potted plants sitting out. City blocks have hidden courtyards, often with restaurants. Everything is green and inviting this time of year, and was long before the snow and frost ended back in Michigan.
I seldom smell the flowers. I can’t even name them. But they remind me of hotels and parks in Orlando. Or Naples, where I grew up.
Without the beach.
I’ve included a gallery of flower photos below. Enjoy. By the way, if you see a photo on my blog you would like, let me know and I’ll send you the original file. You will have to print it and frame it yourself.