Martuni is the most beautiful I've seen it this evening. An early season snow last night gave way to a cold autumn day, with great clouds billowing not up but across the sky, beyond them a deep, brilliant blue. Snowy peaks stand out like ancient elders on the horizon: to the south a dry range capped with snow, to the west one gigantic peak, standing above the rest, the Grandfather, as great and far away as you can imagine. To the north across the lake a long range hugs the coastline, their tops shrouded in clouds, the most distant peaks tiny and lumped in a line like the wall of a sand castle. It all stands, eternal, catching the reds and pinks of a setting sun, just visible, shooting rays around a huge dark cloud that hangs next to the Grandfather on the western skyline. The air is clear and cold like a block of ice.
The kids were wonderful today, twenty of them but with Lala's help it was a breeze. We taught the food chain, outside in the cold wind, the kids choosing animals or plants to be and building a pyramid, declaring their connections with the plants and animals above, below, and around them. My great appreciation goes to Joseph Cornell ("Sharing Nature With Children") for his activities, games, and great ideas.
I just talked to Emma Groetzinger online, a chance encounter. She is in Peru, heading back to Colombia soon, working on Peace Education with teachers in Bogota. I am reminded once again of how many friends I have who are living abroad and in the US, helping people, working for peace and freedom and justice. More power to all of you!
H.H. the Dalai Lama received the Congressional Gold Medal today, honoring his lifelong advocacy of religious harmony, nonviolence, and human rights, as well as his efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Tibet issue through dialogue with China. The Medal is the United States' highest civilian honor, and was presented at a ceremony attended by President Bush, in spite of China's protests.