Well, it's 9ish Saturday night. Ezi's finishing his dinner w/ Shaku and Shakuns Mom ("Mua"), while J & L are playing soccer with a small ball in the dining room near them. We are all aware that Ezi goes tomorrow at 3:45 pm to Delhi, then waits there for the whole evening until his 2 am Jet Air flight to Brussels, then JFK and New York. At least, he's gotten a voucher to stay in the Jet Lounge in Delhi airport while he waits some seven hours. Thank the g-ds for small favors...
Of course, pour moi, it's a sad feeling to know that Ez will be gone from the house from tomorrow. Although we haven't seen him alot recently, as he's had three friends from NMH for two weeks, plus his gaggle of Kathmandu friends here, it's still lovely to know that he's nearby and occasionally available for a good chat or smile or just to observe his interactions w/ other people.
We know it's good for him to go as he's on his own growth curve in a way that our little Kathmandu couldn't continue to stimulate him. Of course, there's much that he misses here, but he still (I think...) feels the tug of the steeper and richer jourtney in America at this stage of his youthful life. He's challenged at many levels there, academically, intellectually, sports and consciousness. But, Kathmandu, dear besmirched, politicized and familiar Kathmandu, is the tug of home, childhood friends, friendly neighborhood haunts and total acceptance.
When he steps back into the fast pace of America (or possibly sailing along tomorrow night from the height of 60,000' with the stars above and the earth below), he will also see his past and future more clearly. The strength and stability of his past and present continuous life in this Kathmandu Valley, as well as the even more (soon to be...) present continuous world of NMH and the future perfect possibilities in America.
Yet, as a family, there is nothing better than being together or, at least, nearby. We had that time in late May/early June in the States this summer, before the boys came back to enjoy our home here for three weeks w/o us. Now, since Shaku, Ms. Leah & I returned at the end of June, we've had July and this early half of August together. Our home has seemed full, joyful and busy. A bit of quiet will descend tomorrow when the phone stops ringing for Ezi with Vijay or Suraj or Karuna or Lyle or Daniel calling to look for our precious prince.
So, tonight, each in our own way (me writing...), we begin to feel the emotional bonds slip away again in the dark, distant sea; those gnarled metaphorical ropes that tie our hearts and limbs together quietly frey tonight so that they may release the beautiful, peaceful dove that is within Ezi and allow him to fly, on his own, to the worlds in America who also love him and draw him back. His school, his friends, his teachers, our family, his cousins, his brother, my mother. He is building his new nest there, a bit more fragile and passing than the permanence of our ten year old house & garden here on the hillside in Budhanilkantha, overlooking Kathmandu to the south, with the 8,000' Shivapuri ridge massive and comforting behind us.
But his craggy dorm room nest, tucked up against the Berkshires in western Massachusetts along the Connecticut River, Student Leader next year in a Freshman dorm, will soon become Ezi's temporary abode in the States for the next ten months.
After five days in NYC at Eileen's beloved home in Peter Cooper Village, Ez will find his way north to either Northampton or Northfield next Saturday, where a friend or teacher will pick him up and whisk him back to the pressures and romance of the boarding school life.
Late August, cerulean skies, warm days, crisp New England air, an open ptich for the start of a new football (soccer) season, new academic courses, new challenges, dear friends, great books, a senior (at last) in high school, the completion of a journey begun a long time ago...
Sail free, beloved son. Sail on, yo captain and commander!
The seas are yours, the wind is high!
Set your sails, man your rudder,
You have chosen the start of your course,
Feel the pusle of your blood and ambition rise in your chest,
Keep Kathmandu in your heart where she belongs,
Know what these Kathmandus (Ithakas) mean as you
Sail free, My Son, Sail free!