She was bathed in golden light.
Within the labyrinth of Angkor Wat’s temple complex, I turned a corner and there she was. The multitude of passing tourists probably just saw an old, tired Cambodian nun, but I saw a Goddess.
Her hands were bronzed and gnarled like the boughs of an ancient Bodhi tree. Her aged, yet delicate features radiated. Her focus was intense and undeniable. Silently, she waited for the occasional tourist to approach her for a traditional Buddhist blessing cord.
A young girl stopped, crouched before the nun, and extended her wrist. From a basket of colored strings a blessed strand was selected. The dexterity of the nuns gnarled fingers equaled that of someone decades younger. She wrapped the young girl’s porcelain wrist with a scarlet cord and began to knot. The first knot was tightened with a prayer of protection, the second knot secured with a prayer of compassion, and the third knot blessed her journey.
A glow emanated from the young girls face. She knew this was a sacred moment.
A sweet smile from the nun concluded this informal ceremony. The impressionable girl rose to her feet and seemed to float away. Her brief encounter with this angelic being momentarily elevated her to a mystical realm.
This old nun, sitting in the hushed recesses of Angkor Wat was simply divine. Without fanfare or pageantry she exemplified quiet beauty and supreme wisdom.
For a moment I thought, “When I grow up I want to be just like her.”
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