The loose grouping of historic buildings has the air of a ghost town. The grass in some places is unkempt. A mother and daughter fighting from opposite sides of a bench pierce the quiet but soon leave, as if they were spirits who hadn't known how to find rest. The crackle of bees from a wide porch, a cat sprawled on shaded gravel, highlight the absence of people.
When the buses aren't too crowded, they can be relaxing. They roll and curve gently, sigh when they come to a temporary stop. The other passengers tend to be quiet, mostly caught up in phones or in staring out the window. When in pairs or small groups, they talk only now and then. At one point, a mother, son, and grandmother climb on board. The son lolls in his mother's lap as the bus glides on.
A mistake following the trail takes me to a quiet, stifling pond, bright green with algae. The air is still and hot. I wonder what I'm doing here, where I can go next, when a heron unfolds and takes flight.
There's a fragile atmosphere in this home, as if a misaligned paper on a desk will prod an ugly argument to life and ruin the evening.
The real estate agent trots up and down the street, as she explains to someone over the phone that she's misplaced her car keys.
It's a tiny museum; the air is cool and smells dusty. If I knew more ahead of time about Tibetan Buddhism, I would understand more about what I'm seeing. There are labels, but few explanations. The shelves are lined with placid gleaming statues and ornate metalwork. The gardens, set on a hill, are walled in by trees and stone and lined with prayer flags.
The deer watches me in stillness, a question in its eyes. It retreats because it doesn't want to risk the answer I might give it.