For days now clouds had amassed, growing thicker by the day, entirely covering the faces of the Himalayas. Like shrouds, a see – through smoky mist lay over the soft patterned valleys below. The roll of thunder echoed between the mountain ridges, the atmospheric density building. We had been observing the play of weather, growing impatient with the anticipation gnawing at all of us, as we wondered, would indeed the Himalayas expose their majesty?
In a days’ time it would be Shiv Ratri, or Shiva’s night. This is one of the biggest celebrated Hindu festivals that attracts Shiva devotees and saddhus, (Holy men that have renounced the material world), from all over Nepal and India. It normally rains on that night, a sign of blessings. We had left the chaos of Kathmandu city and were staying at the Nagarkot Farmhouse, at 2000 m above sea level, intent on connecting visually and spiritually to the Himalayas. As I watched the cloud-bedded velvet night sky, I could only pray that the rains would come…. I had my own agenda with Shiva’s rain blessing!
It thundered, it poured, and hailed on Shiv Ratri. That night I hardly slept. As the rain came and went, I waited for the imminence of dawn.
An undulating mass of the planet’s highest mountain range, pure in their majesty, awakened the following day. In that moment of unnameable beauty, when the first rays of the sun touched the highest visible peak, there was an absoluteness of reverence; a spontaneous upwelling of honoring and humbling.
My agenda with Shiva had been granted…. !
We left Nagarkot the next day, the image of the Himalayas indelibly pressed to our hearts.
For more information on the next tour to Nepal with Petra, click here