We have not seen the sun for a few days.
It welcomed us on the day of our arrival, opening up the land around, sharing the colours of the foliage, parading the snow capped mountains in the distance. The second day teased us with more warmth to accompany a walk to the lake, enticing a dip into the still waters, with early fall like temperatures for a soothing, gentle swim. And then the sun went away.
A cyclone on the Bay of Bengal, thousands of kilometres in the south east, had churned the air and folded in the northern cold with the ground moisture, ushering in a mass of clouds mixed with spots of rain. The temperatures hover around 20 degrees but the morning chill of the damp air brought out layers of clothing to be peeled away come mid-afternoon, and drawn in more tightly for the evening supper.
The tiny moments of rain were mere teardrops compared to the buckets poured over the city of Amritsar a week ago. But there would be no slowing down; the people barreled on, unabated. Heads down, backs bent leaning forward, slicing through the curtain of water, averting pools of water and navigating the narrow passages through the town.
And we do the same; slower, more deliberate, knowing our time is short, capturing the sensations of this idyllic little oasis.
Butterflies and birds abound. We watch the fluttering tiny yellow wings amidst the lush greenery, the larger ones with white spotted wings hovering over each flower, or the taste of a rainbow flapping and floating through the vines. We listen to the twill of birdsong, the chorus of replies, the swish of air from the flock in showcase formation over the lake.
You turn your head quickly to the right because in the periphery a branch in the distance sways dramatically, followed by frantic cackles. The troops of monkeys appear to be demarcating their territory, fortifying their stake on this plot with the eviction of all others.
Or maybe they are reacting to the leopard. We have been warned by the villagers that one is in the vicinity. Their children have been instructed to only venture out as a group and to carry their walking sticks. Before we return to our rooms, the hosts advises the group to use the same precautions.
Each night we retire to our tastefully decorated rooms, a very comfortable refuge from these recent damp days except….there are two twin beds rather than the queen we have grown accustomed. The amount of space is the same but the division is clear with a dividing gap in between making close quarters in the middle uncomfortable. So we sleep together, but separate.
The wonderful memories continue to accumulate. We cherish it all, lock, stock and ….
Well, maybe not everything.