“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” – Buddha
Simple enough? What if your body is here in the present, but your heart and mind are in the past? Even though I left Thailand over a month ago, I still feel the warmth of the sun, the taste of the sea and chilies, and the smell of fresh durian and car exhaust. All I have to do is close my eyes, and I can picture the temple at the end of the soi, and the stray dogs sleeping in front of 7-Eleven. I can hear the sing-song voices of my neighbours, and feel at ease because I understand every word they are saying. It’s not my mother tongue, but after fourteen years, it comforts me like the laughter of an old friend.
Fourteen years ago, I was greeted at midnight in the Bangkok airport with lotus flowers, and a sign that read “My Lotus Girl.” At the time I didn’t realize it, but that was the start of our love affair. And I was serious enough to get ‘rak’ (love) tattooed on my arm, and promise a Thai sarong seller that I would return in less than 5 years. I don’t know what it was. Was it the warm air, the intoxicating smells, the spicy food, the white sand, the busy streets or the sense of total freedom for the first time in my life that made me fall in love?
To be continued…..