I had just reached the edge of the tent village when the mala you gave me finally broke. You know the one; that Buddhist rosary you hoped I'd wear if and when I'd go on pilgrimage to India with you. I felt a small twinge of sadness watching the beads scatter across the sand. After all, you gave it to me.
"Nothing lasts forever," I whispered to myself. "Mei fei tsu."
At the offering place, in the shadow of the Great Stupa, I fished those beads from my pocket. I found it remarkably easy to set them down, placing them atop a skull a previous pilgrim had left. I recited the mantra silently to myself, turning my attention to the Stupa itself.
It was a good day for my yearly bit of getting holy in the Buddhist context. It was a good day to be amongst friends and loved ones. It was a good day to let go.
Depending upon mood and superstition dictates how the breaking of that rosary can be interrupted; my fetters to you being broken, or perhaps that if we ever see one another again, we can start afresh. Maybe it's just that after so many years the string became fatigued and finally gave way, scattering beads across the sand. I do not pretend to know. Perhaps it doesn't matter anymore.
So it goes...