Badam leant his back against the jagged rocks as he listened to the deep chants that filled the air.  The unearthly sounds resonated through his small body and almost made him forget the pain he felt searing into his back. He had always been the smallest boy amongst others his age, so often that he wasn’t even sure that he was his age. He only had his parent’s word to go on, and that didn’t always turn out to be true. They said that he could always live the Sherpa way, and that he could be an explorer as he had always wanted. So when they sent Badam to live with the monks, he was certain he couldn’t believe them anymore. They said that he needed discipline as he liked to play by his own rules, and to find the path to true enlightenment, he would need to live even higher in the mountains and follow the path of the holy ones. 

Badam knew what was best for himself, he didn’t need others to show him. So as the monks chanted their way into the unknown, Badam would go and sit on the rocks to look at the perfect view as he listened. The pain of the rocks was worth the beauty that he marvelled at every day. As he sat there above the clouds, he reached into his robe pocket that he had made for himself, and took out a handful of peanuts to eat. Peanuts were Badam’s favourite food and was of course, how he got his nickname Badam, which translates to Peanut. He couldn’t remember his original name anymore, and didn’t need to. Badam was not keen on the strict rules of eating only once a day, so he often collected peanuts in the morning and ate them as he pleased. 

After a short while, Badam forgot himself as he sat in the stillness of the sky. It was only after he felt the deep warmth of a large hand upon his head, that he blinked his way back and looked up. Robed in red, with a soft smile upon his old face, stood a monk he didn’t recognise, but did. 

The older monk sat down next to Badam, and looked out at the whitened peaks. He breathed deeply, and then calmly took out his hand and waited. Badam looked at his hand blankly, and then sighed as he realised. He took out some peanuts from his robe and gently placed them into the large, waiting hand. The older monk looked down at his hand, and without saying a word, started to eat the peanuts. Badam’s heart lifted as he smiled at the old monk, and then looked back at the horizon. 

The chanting eventually stopped, and as it did, Badam noticed the pain returning to his back. He breathed in sharply and stood up, hesitating before he turned to walk away. As he took a few steps, the older monk began to chant, causing Badam to stop in his tracks and listen. He turned back around and returned to the monk’s side, to sit down on the ground next to him, letting the rocks imbed into his soft flesh again. He looked out at the mountains that he explored in his mind, and realised that his power inside was travelling up through his body and out of his mouth, in sync with the older monk’s chanting Om Mani Bêmê Hum, Om Mani Bêmê Hum..

It was only when Badam opened his eyes that he realised that he had them closed. He stood up and looked around to see that he was alone again. He walked away from the cliff edge and past the abandoned monastery, looking back at the view with a smile before he went on his way to explore his land in the sky, leaving nothing behind but a few discarded peanut shells.

 

Fin.