I was bound for Southeast Asia, compelled to travel here. Why they asked? I’m not sure I replied. I will find out while I am there. It will be part of the journey.
I flew for about 36 hours – effortless ease.
I arrived in Siem Reap and immediately found guides…friends…I think it was no accident he said when we parted. No accident that when it started to rain at happy hour on your first night that I bumped into you trying to get out of the rain. You weren’t really meant to spend this first leg of your trip alone he said.
He literally showed me how to cross the street. The way you would show a small child. And the streets are chaotic. With another friend they took me for foot massages and cheap drinks and hot pot and dancing. Protected. Nurtured. Guided with compassion.
I agreed with him. I was not meant to be alone on the first leg of my journey – and I was not.
I visited temples lost and then found. Damaged and repaired. Defaced and still standing. Reborn.
I took in the children – so many children – selling goods on the streets – at the tourist attractions – late at night in the town. My like minded friends bought toys from children and gave them away to others. Brothers of the heart.
Separately and together we visited artisan workshops for the poor and disabled and explored the amazing recycling entrepreneurs. We asked questions – we learned. Brothers of the mind.
I watched the struggles and began to hear the stories of centuries of plundering and uncertainty – and the recent genocide. I saw landmine victims everywhere.
My paid guide – a smart compassionate single dad taught me so much – he talked about the juxtaposition of good and bad – good and evil in Cambodian culture. I saw that.
Destruction and rebuilding. Death and procreation. Pain and joy. An occasional image of the Phoenix…rising from the ashes.
Rebirth. I get that. That’s why I’m here. I have spent almost three years in pain and healing. Gradually finding my way thanks to so many. Now it’s time to be reborn.