THAI SALA

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In the village was a Sala by the edge of the river Ping. Salas to me are a wonderful piece of architecture symbolising openness, hospitality to strangers, simplicity and the inter-connectedness of life. As a child I spent many lazy days in the Sala watching dragonflies skim the muddy brown water. On one of those days I was joined by Grandpa Miang. We sat there in comfortable silence. All of a sudden a dragonfly flew into the Sala and seemed to rest for what felt like an infinity at the time.

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“A sign,” Grandpa Miang said.

I wasn’t sure that I believed in signs but nevertheless I respected Grandpa Miang.

And that moment stayed with me through hard times when I was trying to adapt to life in the UK. Years later I came across a poem by an English poet which seemed to illuminate that moment all those years later.

You hail from Dream-land, Dragon-fly?

A stranger hither? So am I,

And (sooth to say) I wonder why

We either of us came!

– – – Agnes M.F.R. Darmesteter “To a Dragon-fly”

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