Once in a while I see something that makes my heart melt a little bit. That’s what happened yesterday while I was sitting and people watching at Baita Gongyuan, a large stupa that has the most enormous prayer wheel I’ve ever seen!
There are constantly people here, circling the stupa, turning the many prayer wheels, and prostrating themselves in front of the big wheel.
It seems that kids are often left to their own devices while their parents go to pray.
I noticed this little girl, wandering around by herself for quite a long time, looking completely miserable. I wondered why she looked so sad.
Finally, two more little girls appeared, and the three ran towards each other, arms outstretched for hugs.
Their joy at seeing each other was obvious.
The first little girl was suddenly, completely transformed, from sad face to happy face, misery to delight.
She had seen me take her picture, and because I am very much an object of curiosity, she guided the other two towards me.
This led, of course, to me taking portraits of each of them so they could see themselves.
They then ran off to play, hopping and leapfrogging around. But they kept looking back, noticing that I had my camera focused on them.
And that meant they had to run back to me frequently to see the pictures I’d taken!
And this happened again, and again, and again.
It was so sweet to see such a friendship and obvious connection between these three, and their big smiles were great!
On a day when I was feeling a bit grumpy, tired and headachey from a long drive and some serious altitude (Litang is at 4014 metres), seeing and interacting with these three sweet little girls totally cheered me up.