Trip of a Lifetime

Excerpt from Chapter 29

December saw a private sale for the shop, perfect timing I thought. My boys booked a flight on the nineteenth December to New Zealand for a surprise Christmas with their father. However the financing of the purchase dragged on. Christmas bore down on us.

Finally, I received notice on the seventeenth December that the sale would finally go through. The exact take-over date still not set. The boys arranged to rent a house, moving as much as possible before leaving, thinking Geoff and I should be able to manage the rest. A phone call and the take-over date was arranged for December twenty-fourth nineteen-ninety-eight. Little time was left to wind up the business, clean up, remove our personal belongings and move out.

Undaunted, I got to work and found for the first time that when the pressure was really on Geoff was not ‘there’. He found many reasons for not helping, all very valid to himself, from his map of the world or point of view. Somehow I made the deadline.

Life with Geoff wasn’t easy, with many ups and downs. At times it looked as if we would never get on the plane together. Finally, two months after moving out of the shop, February nineteen-ninety-nine, we boarded the plane and flew out of Brisbane for a three-month holiday in Sri Lanka, India and Nepal. A sense of wonder and excitement filled me. We were two people doing their best to heal a relationship that was not working but I had paid for the tickets and could not envisage going by myself. We may not be together now but that does not necessarily mean we did not receive a healing out of the trip. I can only tell you my story. We had ten dollars US per day each with a bit extra for emergencies. First class transport and five star hotels were not in our budget.

If it had not been for Geoff I would never have gone down the road I have just travelled. I had a reason for this trip, even if it was not known consciously. I would not have got on that plane alone. He took me with my fears, judgments, insecurities and conditionings. He gave me opportunity to clear out old garbage. I had forgotten how to soar to the mountain tops from within my own valleys or how to stay there. He taught me to know that which I love and that which I find worthless. I appreciate and acknowledge that gift from Geoff. A journey no money could buy.

Geoff sat on the plane making excuses for sipping the free alcohol. His excuse for drinking was that he needed to relax because of his fear. I too supped a little before screwing up my nose, wondering how I had ever found the taste pleasant. Now he always seemed to have a good reason for needing to have a drink. He allowed me to see that my way did not need the bottle that was heavy in his bag. Drugs were readily available and it was not long before he was lost in a drug haze, thus I spent many hours exploring on my own.

From the first moment, I saw God’s messages letting me know that He was with me on this journey in unmistakable but pure and simple ways. A batik (cloth painting) of Jesus holding a lamb hung in the top corner amongst elephants, butterflies and birds, reminding me also that strange bed fellows we often make. I took the bakit of Jesus with me, as a reminder. I travelled the lonely streets surrounded by dark faces and learnt to open their doors, which allowed the sun to shine from their radiant smiles. I was invited to share chai (spiced tea) on little stools in the market place or to sit, perch on a tree stump, surrounded by unfamiliar faces of people who were to become friends. I sung with them their songs of God, as they remind me, no matter what name, same God. They shared their life journeys of struggles and hardships to the simple pleasures of the pride and joy of an ancient cassette player, to record our chants. The cassette player placed on the edge of the bed he and his wife were to share with two sleeping children. His five month pregnant wife watched shyly on from their bed, where their last two babies nestled against her. Six hundred rupees a month (fifteen dollars Australian) for this room built of earth, with walls of tissue, so thin even whispers can be heard from next door. Payment to be met from a vending stall amongst many others the same and few tourists to supply their meager needs, with winter coming on. Their gift to me was to be able to share in their pleasures of laughter, song and dance. They reminded me of the child within and that which money could not buy or poverty take.

I spent an afternoon at a Buddhist temple where I met the head monk and made an appointment with him for five am for a meditation lesson. Unbeknown to me, I think it was tantric meditation he fancied teaching me. Awareness dawned as he endeavoured to maneuver me into a position that was far removed from anything that had entered my thoughts. A bit of fast talking and I backed out of the set up thinking ‘A saffron robe does not a monk make’.

When walking back to the hotel as the first light broke through the night, a pink and white scented Buddha flower dropping face up at my feet. It was another of God’s messages, his way of letting me know he knew my intent.

By now Geoff’s whole character had changed and he had once again become a paranoid drug addict. My joy soured as an eagle that swooped over my head, reminding me of my golden eagle, as I sat bleeding inside on Poon Hill, ten thousand and fifty feet above sea level, ringed by snow-capped mountains. The vivid reds and pinks of the Rhododendron forests and sweet smelling Daphne carpeted the hillside. I was looking for my Guru, whom I had not found. I was taunted by Geoff and told of the folly of a forty-seven year old woman trekking in the mountains and ridiculed for not being able to climb the staircase going up to over one thousand one hundred feet to the top of the hill in forty-five minutes. I was taken back to being a child again, in my mother’s garden wanting of attention, scared, rejected, alone, fearing failure and abandonment. Life not proceeding the way I had dreamed it should. Three hours a day for two weeks I sat in trance upon this energy vortex, the heart center of Nepal. Feelings of despair, anger, blame and rage, these emotions my lonely companions.

I thank Geoff for things he had no idea he was giving me. Almost forcing me to heal wounds hidden deep within my heart and finally to find my Guru, where I least expected – deep inside myself. Geoff unknowingly taught a child who had nearly drowned to swim again.

The hand that rescued me was not the way I had expected. I had the opportunity to observe the effects of marijuana, hashish and black tar as Geoff reverted to old habits. I got to know these dealers and see how their social group was built. Friendships built on the rocky ‘drugs’ foundation where contracts were not fulfilled. I held a frightened woman (myself) after her journey over mountain trails. Geoff was desperate to get back to his dealer. I followed my frantic paranoid travel partner, walking for seven hours on blistered feet to keep him in sight so that he would not disappear with my passport that he kept tightly held. Clambering onto the top of an old bus amongst foul manure we spent another four hours clinging to the rails for our lives as it careered down the mountain pass barely wide enough for a car. Then, to walk lost in the dark of the night, another two kilometers to get back to the hotel. I wept in my arms, my own arms, for my man. Geoff found me demanding and unreasonable, a ‘hot one’ a much less demanding companion. To hear him say, “I am here for you,” as he disappeared behind a haze of drug smoke.

I had the pleasure of helping her to find ways to heal herself. To help her appreciate again that it was not her fault but his choice. For her to realise that she could not control what he chose to do and not to accept the blame but to walk tall within her own power. It was God’s gift, to have given me the time to watch and help myself with my healing process. A lifetime friend made with myself. I saw my pain as I watched the man I loved destroy himself, as he accused and blamed me for his failings whilst the real damage was being done by himself, the smoker, old lessons once taught to be tested again. I had to learn to appreciate that he had his own journey, lessons to learn and to give. With every lesson there is a teacher, often the teacher not knowing they teach. I knew it was my choice to stay or to go but I was bound by obligation. After all there are no mistakes only mistakes but if we take note we can learn from them.

A high fever raged and my bowel, not for the first time, emptying uncontrollably down my legs beneath my long skirt. This time trapped between a chai (tea) shop – a hut with dirt floor and a milking buffalo tethered in the centre and our bus where Geoff comfortably sat, ready to depart. Stripped bare of all dignity, pants discarded on the side of the road. No toilets here and unable to clean properly, forced to sitting in my own mess for another four-hour bus journey. The emotions and feelings generated by this situation unimaginable as the feeling of being totally out of control and abandoned took over. Feelings of my uncleanness, neediness and inability to change or control the situation washed over me. Emotions raged through my body, equal to the diarrhea, stripping me raw with their intensity. I thank God for the cleansing power of this experience. It triggering again some of my deepest fears and brought them to the surface for healing.

Whilst the violent diarrhea was cleansing my bowel as effectively as most modern techniques, I had the knowing of Karma held from past lives being washed away.
Turquoise and mountain coral purchased up in the mountain trails from a family who had just decided to sell one of their family heirlooms. Housing and food needed for the coming winter, after a poor tourist season. I needing the healing effects these stones offered. I remembered again how perfectly God’s plan works for us. That Source was with me every step of the way.

Leaving Geoff in his drug haze, I explored the back streets of Kathmandu. While walking along a dark, narrow back street a man stepped into my path, a bowl of crystals in his hand. I was guided to a crystal taken from the Himalayan Mountains, hidden in a back draw of his dark little shop. It had drawn me across the world to find it, neither of us knowing what type of crystal it was. I just knowing that I had found my personal crystal, later to be told it was a very rare celestial smoky quartz.

This journey offered many delights from a magical sunset over the sea to the mountains, as the tallest peaks, orange, candy coated, with the first morning rays heralded a new day, to walking with donkey trains, bells tingling through forested mountain trails. Wild peacocks, strutting their mating dance, deer scuttling past and wild pig scattering. Monkeys wandering freely, except sadly for one baby caught for sale. I held its scared little body as it looked at me with baby eyes, then hid its face in my lap, seeking the comfort it knew from its mother, myself a poor substitute and unable to help. I followed a herd of a hundred elephants down to the river to bathe, only five mahouts with sticks to control them. One loud call from them and the whole herd would instantly obey. I scratched little one’s heads as they sought me out, knowing when the mahouts were not watching. I saw their sensitivity through their eyes. Watched them react like naughty children, disappointment flashing as they were told to return to the herd. I rode through the jungle on the back of one of these magnificent beasts to observe the wild life. A rhinoceros sparring for a fight, only backing off as the second elephant arrived. It was much less intimidating than when previously viewed from on foot, twenty meters away, a huge male rhinoceros, standing well over six feet, his large single horn pointing straight at us. I knew these beasts could turn into a forty kilometer an hour power tank. Thankfully he was safely up wind from us.

Many temples, ancient relics and carvings, all crossed my path. My neuro linguistic programming skills tested to the extreme, used to extract myself from tricky and potentially dangerous situations. I learnt to blend with the people so as to be able to walk their streets and observe their ways, inconsequential, unnoticed and not hassled. To get to enjoy again the pleasures of an intense haggling session and receive the shake of the head, which in their culture means a yes, when a deal was struck. I enjoyed watching with amusement my own dilemma as my subconscious mind did its best to decide whether the reply really meant yes or a no. I had the pleasure of being able help people to heal, where people had lost hope. To be treated in return like royalty and called ‘Mum’. The front seat of the land rover provided for my comfort so that I could have the best view of the wild life. Other tourists moved aside allowing me to pat a baby rhinoceros without being disturbed.

To feel honour but and at the same time to be totally humbled, when a quiet voice says, “I can never thank you for what you have done. You are like a God to us.” Once again ill myself, knowing that karma was being playing out. Shy faces back to see how they could help the healer, walking for miles to get precious buffalo yogurt for my breakfast, to help me to heal.

Another young man, a twenty five year old Sri Lankan home healing after being shot up in the war. There was an instant liking and connection here, I knowing once again a karmic healing had taken place. He better, myself sick, again I was to be waited on with patience and kindness. Once healed, I was to have a personal guide to take me places other tourists never went. Then to leave with a gift from him, a packet of Ceylon tea, worth a million dollars to me, knowing that in ten days he would be back in the firing line. I pray for his life. I thank God for being able to ease a little of these peoples burdens.

Every detail of this trip previously planned, on some level. The challenge of using local buses, to arriving just in time with only two seats left, to find a connecting bus without a break. No bookings made, just all laid out in order just like life’s journey. I breathed the air and I walked the walk. A new, free, lighter energy of joy and wonder blossomed inside
me. So many old ways fell by the wayside replaced by a lightness and freedom of spirit not experienced before. I experienced the pleasure of being able to feel again the real joy of God or Spirit within, with every breath. There is no good or bad, right or wrong, all just is.

I thank Geoff for this priceless gift that he will never know he gave. Australian soil saw the end of this romance. Thank you to all the people who have touched my life on this special part of my life journey, for their gifts given in so many different ways. I know it is all part of the greater plan to help me along my path to eternity.