I enjoy going back and reading different parts of our retelling, and one of my favorite scenes is when Soumountha is in the palace gardens. It’s so soothing, and hard to imagine within minutes she’s going to be abducted out of the blue sky by Nyak Koumphan. We include a photo of a flowering brugmansia from our own “palace” garden taken yesterday below. Being a tropical plant that grows in Laos I have no doubt there were a couple of these gorgeous flowering plants in full bloom, adding their luscious scent to the enjoyment of all present.
A fresh breeze blew a cool fragrance throughout the forest, and the sound of the entrancing music from the marvelous blend of different instruments soared into the sky. The violinists swayed with typical graceful Lao dance movements, as another group of musicians began playing. They were dazzlingly beautiful and their brightly decorated clothes (embroidered with crystals) sparkled in the sunlight. The women’s black hair was pulled up, glistening with hair oil, and their skin was as white as jasmine flowers. The servant girls picked flowers, from the trees and from those carpeting the ground, and strung them into garlands. They joked with one another, inserting flowers into one another’s hair while singing together. The women prayed fervently that the day would never end. One servant girl took a beautiful dok champa garland the servant girls had strung together and reverently presented it to Nang Soumountha, who was sitting on a nearby bench the dancers was a joyful experience and Soumountha was delighted to see everyone enjoying themselves in the royal gardens. She felt calm and enjoyed the fragrant flowers in full bloom around her. A light wind rustled the palm fronds overhead, soothing body and spirit, everyone continuing to relax as the sun sank lower in the sky.