I grabbed my camera, Gerry grabbed his own down jacket and we ran out after him. Wesley was close behind. Tashi, like a smart monk, stayed in his warm cozy room! We got the down jacket on Jamphel, who is luckily the same size as Gerry, and we commenced the obligatory snow portraits, arms in the air, big smiles on our faces. I'm not sure why, but when it snows we go stand in the middle of the road and take photos of ourselves. Happens ever time. And then we stand in front of the house and take more photos.
Wesley's face must surely hurt by now. This smile has been on her face since our two monks walked through the door, except when she is crying from all the emotion she has inside that has to escape. As fate would have it, the snow has closed her school, so she has been able to stay home with us during this visit.
After the picture taking, we went back in and I sensed a monk that did not want to come in from the storm. Alrighty, looks like we are going to play in the snow all day.....
Since Gerry is a hard working photojournalist, he had to go out in this mess and make pictures of all the people that do dumb things in a snow storm in the south. Wesley and I bundled Jamphel up and went back out for a long walk in a snow that got stronger and stronger as we walked. Here he is wearing the coat that AP gave Gerry for the Vancouver Winter Olympics, his snowboarding gloves and fleece hat. Thank goodness even Gerry's winter boots fit him and so he left his Nikes at home! My scarf is a souvenir that Gerry brought me back from the Olympics, remember those?
It snowed harder, we walked on. We pretended we were in Tibet, crossing the Himalaya. We were with a Tibetan after all. We headed for a trail in the woods and walked quietly on the path as the snow fell. It was so beautiful. Snow is magic. As Jamphel said to us, it was very special. Wesley will never forget this day as long as she lives. Nor will any of us.
Last night we measured seven inches on our deck. Gerry was supposed to shoot the Duke Carolina game, but finally at the last minute, they mustered up some good sense that they rarely have, and called it off. Like a good AP photographer, Gerry headed over to the Dean Smith Center to shoot fans leaving the stadium and then shot pics all the way home. At least he was in earlier than he had planned and we were able to have dinner together and then watch the Olympics.
After a long, long walk, we came back home, sat at the table and had some warm tea. We talked together in broken English. It is amazing how well we can communicate with gestures and a few words sounded out. The snow continued to fall. Wesley has started teaching herself the Tibetan alphabet and learning to spell words. Jamphel went upstairs to talk with family, Tashi was in his room all day, offering prayers to his recently passed mom. Wesley was writing her alphabet in the leather journal I gave her for Christmas, Gerry was making news pictures and I sat quietly taking all of this in and wondering if I was in an alternate reality. Never in a million years would I have guessed this would be my life for a few weeks.
Someone commented on my blog yesterday about the three day rule with guests. This has not even crossed my mind. I find myself wondering instead what it will be like when they have left. Yes, the three day rule absolutely applies with me, I am happy to see guests come and happy to see them leave. But not these two. Somehow it's different. Especially with Jamphel. Is it possible that we were connected in a previous life? We all feel a profound connection to him and him to us. He is like our son, he is Wesley's brother. Tashi too is my son, Wesley's brother. He is quiet, he speaks five languages and is learning English quickly. We are proud of him. he studies hard.
It is 8am, the snow has started to fall again, lightly. Gerry is heading out the door to make more pictures, my daughter is upstairs still asleep. I hear someone doing their yoga, I hear the shower running. The mandala construction has been canceled for today. We will stay home. Time for me to get a quiet cup of coffee before everyone starts wanting to go sledding on our big hills. At least I don't have to pull them in the sled like when Wes was little.
What in the world will this day bring!?