At the front desk I asked the concierge if she had seen Amelia. The concierge furrowed her brow and narrowed her eyes. “Amelia? Amelia? I don’t recall anyone named Amelia.” The concierge must have been new, to not know Amelia, although I could have sworn she was an old hand. “What’s the full name?”
On my way, I thought I heard them talking about me. As I neared the table they stopped talking. Zoey looked guilty. Zoey always looked guilty. When I sat down they stared at me with – oh, I don’t know – sorrow, pity: something like that. In response I opened my hands palms up, and said, “What?” as I looked from one to the other.
Here they call them palmetto bugs but they’re just cockroaches, really. Normally, I would have murdered the tiny intruder but on this morning, on this particular day, I awoke with a newfound appreciation for life: for any and all life.
But the highlight of the event was the momentous meeting between Luna Lyngdoh and Meban Tsangpa, a Samanera or novice monk. A woke, computer-trained graduate, he had been inducted into the monastery as a trainee. He followed many of the cardinal religious precepts but had not yet attained higher ordination which would make him a Bhikkhu or a full-fledged monk.
Meghalaya in monsoon — the perfect time to explore and embrace the beauty of the Sacred Woods. Luna smiled to herself as she recalled this much-loved refrain from her days of childhood and youth. She walked past the moss-slickened stones, boulders flecked with the chartreuse lichen, stopping to admire the white coral mushrooms that were so famous here.