I'm on my way to completing two years in Leh. And then I leave for good. A month ago the thought of leaving filled me with so much of excitement I could hardly wait. Today, it feels like a wrench around my heart. There is a strangeness in the way we adapt to our surroundings. The past feeling was due to all the frustrations of working here, which still remain. And having detached myself from the place for a while, the thought of coming back felt awful. But now that I am back, and although nothing has changed, I am re-identifying all the reasons why I love being here. I am reminded of why I decided to come here in the first place. More of that later.
I'm beginning to realise perhaps we're never fully ourselves in one place and at one time. Perhaps that is why we must go and experience different places and people. We find parts of ourselves in them. We can become as big as we want to be, or choose to remain as we are. Although remaining as we are is quite impossible when I think about it. We either progress or regress. We can never be just right here all the time. A new place, what it offers in experience and witness move you out of yourself; and I choose to have that. But with it comes the not so nice part of leaving behind the place you made home even if for only a while, and saying goodbye to friends you made not knowing when you will see them again. This is what is beginning to dawn on me, and what saddens me. My transitioning has already begun.
I will miss my house, my bedroom particularly, for all the lovely times I've enjoyed being on my own and my freedom. I will miss my dogs Black, Ranger and Fat. Even Horlicks, in spite of his utter lack of manners. The other three are darlings. I will not shy away from admitting Black is my favourite. He takes it upon himself to take care of me by never failing to accompany me when I go out to fetch water during winters. The other three join us according to their moods. Black also seems to think he should be the favourite by default, and gets mighty jealous when he feels the others are getting more attention and love. So he resorts to body-blocking, that is to say block the rest from me and have me all to himself. I worry about him the most, and the prayer in my heart is he finds a good human friend after me on whom to pamper his protection. The others will get by.
I will miss the good friends I have made in school, and with whom I have shared so much. I will miss the students I've gotten to know. I will miss their affection and their ready acceptance of me, and also remember fondly all the frustrations they've caused me. They've taught me patience and much else. I leave mid year, so I worry about their studies and well being in class. I hope for a good teacher who will take good care of them after me, and that they will complete the year well.
I am grateful for Leh and all that it has taught me. Each that possesses a part of my heart will remain in my thoughts. And I go the way I have to.