Everything feels circular in Nepal. Karma. Walking around the temples (always clockwise). Spinning of the prayer wheels to release blessings out into the world. The red tika dotting my forehead, a blessing to me from our girls at Raksha Nepal. The sun, always a red glowing disk through the haze of pollution. Her turquoise skirt swirling in a welcoming dance. My thoughts as she tells her story of rapes and beatings from her family members. Of the lingering effects of being starved so often.
I don’t know much about this world. I don’t know grief like this. Her words go around in my head, again and again. It digs holes into all the soft parts of me, makes raindrops in the trees lining my eyes.
Thank you for sharing, I say. Their insufficiency to convey what I mean is hopefully made clear by the outpouring in the circle of our arms. Thank you sister, is her reply, a common greeting and a perfect one. A reminder that we are all connected.
What we give to this world will grow ten fold. And what has been taken from this strong woman of only 19 precious years has made her infinitely braver than I will ever be. I know you will achieve your dream of becoming a gynecologist and helping other young women receive care and justice where necessary. Nothing in this world can stop you. This is the circle.
“Sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height. Sadness gives roots. Happiness gives branches. Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth. Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it goes, simultaneously. The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its roots. In fact, it is always in proportion. That’s its balance.” – Osho