My dearest Sombath
Today is 15 December 2019. It’s already 7 years today that you were so ruthlessly taken away from me, your family, and friends. Who could have imaged that 7 years have gone by and there is still a wall of silence surrounding what happened to you. However, with each passing day, the silence from those who took you speaks louder than words, and shows clearly their guilt and lack of ability to admit the truth of the injustice done to you.
Never the less, my dearest Sombath, the passing of time does not mean that you are forgotten. In the days leading up to your 7th anniversary, I have received so many messages from friends, colleagues, and even people who have never met you, to express their solidarity, love and blessing for you, wishing you strength, good health and your safe return to us.
To mark your 7th anniversary, we held a prayer and blessing ceremony for you at Wat Na Khoun Noi Forest temple – the temple that you have had such a long and close affiliation with, and have helped initiate the Buddhist Development Program to train monks, nuns and novices to use the Buddhist teachings as the basis for development of the self, and their families and communities.
My dearest Sombath, today’s prayer and blessing ceremony was so beautiful. It was led by all the monks and novices of the temple and attended by many friends, colleagues, members of the diplomatic community, and also young people.
The prayer and blessing ceremony was simple, but everyone felt the positive energy that emanates from the beautiful environment of the forest temple, and the strong spiritual presence of nature and the universe. We know you are here with us and you clearly know that you are loved and blessed and always remembered wherever you are.
My dearest Sombath, this morning before going to the temple, I got this message from one our dearest friends, David and Lois from Minneapolis. Lois dedicated this poem to you and I a few years back. On this special day, she sends me this poem again to remind me that as long as we share the same air space, we are united in spirit, despite the physical separation.
I find such comfort reading this poem that I want to share this poem with you and to say to you that time and distance can never separate the love we hold and share with each other.
Alone with You
Are we not sheltered by this one vast tent of night sky
There the sparkling stars!
There the watchful moon, just rising
Do you see them?
You in your somewhere place
Do you not breathe the air I breathe
Laden with fragrant jasmine flower
Listless and still as is this night
Are we not held in its warm embrace
Surely our hearts beat as one in this moment
Soothed by the faintest whisper of young bamboo
Unlikely keeper of our one remaining hope
That we too shall bend and not break
Where are you if not with me here
In this place of shimmering solitude
Do you hear the rising choir of croaking frogs in paddy fields?
There! The gecko calls its mate
And what of the pungent scent of moist earth
We have to but breathe to partake of its promise
And now, my dear
Receive the gentle kiss
So my precious love, know that you are never far from me and from all who love you and continue to think of you every day.
Come home soon my love.