My favourite thing about our city flat is its south facing balcony. I love the expanse of sky you can see sitting out here. I love that you can see the distant line of woodland-topped hills beyond the edge of the city to the west. I love that in the winter the sun rises behind the little copse of trees in the east so that they look like they are on fire. I love that in the early autumn, the birds gather here in their thousands, circling and calling, before flying south for the winter.
There’s one thing I am less fond of though—the ugly apartment building opposite us. The tiny north facing balconies are empty and devoid of colour or interest—just the odd rubbish bin or pair of trainers to break up the monotony.
Except for one apartment. Here there is a bold flurry of colour and lines of flags—blue, white, red, green, yellow—dance in the breeze. Those flags stretch from one end of their little balcony to the other, covering the door, the window. They cheer me up every time I see them.
I don’t know these neighbours. I’ve never once seen them on the balcony and it’s a little too far for a shouted-conversation even if they did venture out.
But I know one thing about them – they are Tibetan Buddhists. And this is how they pray…
Image credit: Daniel Parks, via She Loves.