Of New Beginnings and Foundations

Greetings! My name is Tashi and I am a 27 year old woman. My name was given to me by a lama, and it means “auspicious”. I have been married for 3 years now to my wonderful husband Dorje. Dorje’s was also given to him, and it means “diamond”. We have yet to have any children but we know we want to in the near future. We live in a monastery in the village where I am a scholar. I study the origins of the Pali language, and specifically the first usage of it in Buddhist scriptures. It is a dream of mine to research the use of the language in the Pāli Canon, which is the earliest Buddhist canon. Dorje finished his training as a healer and is working in the village treating patients. As a side job, I have also learned some healing skills, a sort of secondary skill if you will, to help him out when his patients come to the monastery to visit him.

Things have been quite busy for us in the past couple of years — we moved to a new town and settled into the community around us. We moved here about a year and a half ago from a couple villages over. Over the years many people had moved away for various reasons — some people moved away for family, others went off seeking new jobs not on their farms in bigger villages — and our old village was getting smaller and smaller every year. Dorje and I decided that it was time for us to move to a bigger town so we could advance our careers and also start a family. It took us almost a week to travel here by foot but we are glad we made it safe and sound. When we came, we had almost nothing except necessities and the few possessions we owned for our jobs — mine was the books for my study and his, herbs and tools for his healing. We have met many new people in this village and found that they are compassionate and kind, always willing to lend a hand. I feel a great sense of community here, something that wasn’t always present in my old village.

Recently, I’ve heard rumours that there will be extreme hailstorm coming. Hailstorms the size of grapefruits — frightening! I wonder what brought on the storm. Is it because of natural causes or has someone done something to offend the spirits? I hope that the latter isn’t true. Or even worse, a black magic ritualist is doing this on purpose. I don’t understand how anyone could have intentions like that but I really hope that isn’t the case. I’ll have to ask around to see what the cause of the hailstorm is, and even though it might just be speculation, I really want to know.

I’m worried for some of the other villagers. Those who are the farmers will probably be hit the hardest since their livelihoods depend on their farms. Their crops will be devastated and their homes probably ruined. I know they have their families to feed and look after, plus the rest of the village will also suffer if we do not have enough crops to eat in the coming months. The village builders will be busy too with all the repairing after the storm. Luckily they know how to fix up a hut fast from their training as well as past experience. Everyone should be alright as long as we take shelter. I’ve never encountered one of these storms before! The village I lived in previously didn’t have such intense storms. We had hailstorms of course, but nothing so extreme. I’m not sure what to expect so I want to be ready for whatever may come.

I’d heard from some of the villagers that a ritualist was selling amulets at Deer Park. I wanted to go buy an amulet for protection but Dorje was convinced that the hailstorm wouldn’t be as intense as people were telling us it was going to be. “After all,” he said, “it is just a rumour”. Still, I can’t help but be worried for us. I hear that the amulets have a design on them specifically for attracting good luck and happiness and to get rid of disease-carrying demons who might make the storm situation worse or even, be the cause of it all. Oh I wish I’d bought an amulet! I want to as prepared as possible, so I spent the money I would have on the amulets on a stockpile of supplies for us and our community, just in case the hailstorm is bad and hits some people worse. I’ve bought some extra staple foods and herbs for healing, knowing that Dorje will probably require those for when people get injured or sick during the storm.

I have to get back to my work now. I can hear my colleagues calling my name to help them with deciphering a text. I will update further on the storm and the events in our village soon. Hopefully everything goes smoothly in the village and all is well.

Bye for now,

Tashi

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