Traveling in the high Himalayas is as remarkable for what is seen as for what remains unseen. This is a magical and obscure place which continually challenges one’s faith and imagination.
After a few days spent exploring around Kathmandu our bus ascends the switchback trails, clinging to the mountainside, and semi-paved roadway, to rise in elevation nearly a mile above the valley to Club Himalaya Nagarkot in the Bhaktapur district.
I’ve come to experience the mountain sunrise so have requested a guest room with a large glass sliding door looking out onto a small balcony facing due east. We look down upon the small ravine in which this village sits, and across the expansive Kathmandu valley beyond to the Himalayan mountain range in the far distance.
That night there is rain and lightning on the mountains so I now have limited expectations for the coming of the dawn. But I leave the curtains and the glass slide open for first light.
The morning birds begin to sing just after 5:15 am when it still dark. Then a faint pink band of light spreads across distant mountain ranges which are largely obscured by fog. The fog begins to climb up our little ravine on cat’s paws.
The hidden sun creates a pillar of pink light just above it as it’s light is reflected off the dense clouds. As the fog begins to lift we can see the valley below more clearly and even a small faint blue patch in the western sky. The first rooster crows, the day is about to begin.
But a quiet northeastern breeze emerges bringing waves of fog back into the valley and our small ravine. The pink light, and even the faint blue, is all absorbed into a darker shade of grey.
Over the next ten minutes the sun continues to rise, but we cannot see it, as it is obscured within a dense fog. It becomes a hidden sunrise, cloud covered whereabouts unknown, surrounding us in divine mystery. The breeze shifts, the rain returns, but by 5:45 am the drama of the beginning of the day has passed completely. The cosmic significance of parts unseen yet truly there.