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Chapter 20


Walking the path of the silver temple, one passes a field of sand raised to reflect the moon.  Geometric patterns are carved in the sand, soon to fall away.

The path is narrow and paved in stone.   Its banks are braced with moss, striped according to the flow of rainwater down the hill.  The moss seems to be a living impression left by the touch and flow of rain, now dense and dark green, now thin and neon teal.

To my right I look out across a vast vista.  I am above forests, above clouds.  In the distance, the roof of the silver temple floats, geometric, crafted, and human.  Beyond, the towers and roofs of the city stretch for miles towards far away green and blue mountain ridges.  I feel like I'm flying, above it all, a giant.

I look to my left.  Here I am solidly on the forest floor at the base of a huge mountain.  I can't  make out the tops of the trees, they are so high above me.  In fact, I can't even see their higher branches, only trunks stretch up and up into a canopy of green.  I am crawling at the base, like a shrew, or a beetle.  What I think are trees might even be moss and I am the size of a flea.

My friend, a native of Nohin who studied with me in the Nacerima empire, says almost jokingly, "Here we are, in between- in the palm of the Great Boddhisatva!"  We laughed.