A HERMIT IN THE HIMALAYAS
bring compensation for the bleak drenching rains. I discover that
even in this season Himalaya keeps a wardrobe of variously coloured
clothes, and may dress and re-dress herself a dozen times a week.
So fierce is the momentum of the winds that one morning I find
half the zinc roof torn off an outbuilding during the night, to the
music of rattling peals of thunder which echo all over the mountains.
The fitful interludes, however, are all the more appreciated and
prevent the spectacle of dawnless sunless days wiping away my
memories of rosier times.
At this time of the year the monsoon is infinitely preferable to
the heats, when the mounting thermometer saps the energy out of
white bodies and drives their nerves to distracted listlessness.
Yet must one regret that with the monsoon the Flower of
Himalaya folds its lovely petals and hides her beauty under an
enwrapping veil of milk-white mists, grey vapours, sombre black
dou'lva*/! pelting rains.
rliis tale of my later life in the mountains now becomes entirely
the t&ie of one man's private hours with sacredness, of his inward
quest and intimate worship. Nothing and nobody external appears
henceforth in its pages. No event needs to be described for it is
now only the story of a deepening stillness. What can one record
of that sublime Void into which I seek to penetrate? Words fail me,
phrases elude me, where once they tripped nimbly at my command.
My thought, alas, dies before it reaches the point of my pen. Let me
then prepare to put the pen aside and let the further pages of this
journal be written on water. I cannot take the world with me into
such private precincts, nor do I care to. Let the curtain of silence
fall upon them.