Honeysuckle now fills the air
The solar panel for our electricity in the front, for hot water in the back
Carole’s new friend, Shatya Bati
“Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo….” Sings the cuckoo bird to its heart’s content, as its melodious refrain, which I have been enjoying, fills the air. In Kathmandu the joyous singing of the cuckoo bird heralds the arrival of spring.
Other things are different:
The sweet fragrance of jasmine fades as the honeysuckle now permeates the air.
The “good morning” sun kisses my face with its golden rays, as it shines through our bedroom curtains.
The whistle of the garbage collector announces his arrival at peoples’ gates as he has come down the street pulling his bicycle trash collection bin full to overflowing with smelly garbage.
We are constantly reminded of the electricity shortage:
The buzzing alarm of a neighbor’s inverter sends its warning throughout the neighborhood that it is depleted of all its power: it will supply no more electricity until its battery has been re-charged after the present session of load shedding is over.
Workmen ask what time we have electricity in our apartment in order to plan when they can come to complete their work, whether its hanging curtain rods and towel racks, or fixing electric lights and switches.
We only use our appliances when we have city electricity in 3-5 hour increments daily. For the 14 hours a day that we lose electricity, a solar panel on our roof provides us with limited lights in our apartment.
So many different things surround us this spring in Kathmandu that we did not experience in Besishahar last spring.
Living in our apartment brings more change. It has both new and old friends! The landlord and his wife, Shatya Bati, live immediately below us on the second floor; she and I are fast becoming friends, as all of our kids have grown and we both have the same number of decades of life-experience. On the first floor lives Dinesh, our former language teacher from when we first arrived in 1979, with his wife and youngest daughter.
Thinking about adjusting to all these changes, I was intrigued by one of my daily Lenten mediations in Journeying through Lent with Mark, by Greg Weyrauch. He titled his remarks on Mark 2:18-22 “Are you ready for change?” Referring to “no one puts new wine in old wineskins…but new wine” he comments “tradition can be paralyzing. It can keep us from change, from stretching ourselves and opening ourselves to new approaches to faith and life.”
Here in Kathmandu, we find God once again giving us new opportunities to stretch ourselves. Jesus’ resurrection opens the way for all of us to experience new life, with new hope and new power.
May the celebration of Easter this year fill you and me, fill us, with new life.