Outside Chiang Mai, Thailand. February 11, 2015.
A short vignette from my third around-the-world trip (and to those who are tempted to say, “that ain’t travel, that’s flying” read on . . . you have been forgiven).
On the final night in Chiang Mai, Thailand, we had dinner at a somewhat elegant country home a few miles out of the city. After dinner we walked out across the lawn and onto a broad driveway. There we lit and launched into the night sky “floating candles”, large white paper bags strung on slender wicker sticks with a nest of wax- soared paper centered on a cross stretching across the bottom. Before the launch we held the candles down as the hot air from the flame in the bag strained to push them upward. Each of us dredged up our bad thoughts and memories, and then released them with the candles.
The floating candles in their paper balloons silently lifted, were pushed by a soft breeze as gently as you would push a baby in a swing, and rose into the dark Thai night, hovering above us then, still rising, swung westward chasing in their golden brightness the long set sun.
The perfect ending to our Thai visit. On to Bhutan!