Wednesday, October 3, 2012

That Time of Year...

Coming over the mountain from Talas, the rocks in the lower part of the canyon cascaded in great slides down the slopes. They were purple. A deep, dry, reddish purple. But when they were in the water of the tiny mountain stream tumbling from the heights crystal clear and cold as ice, they were the color of fresh raw liver. I picked one up from the slope, not the stream, and pocketed it, even though it is typically against my system of morality to take rocks or any sorts of nature away from their natural place. It will be a beautiful souvenir for the fish tank back home.
We were so fortunate to drive over the Tien Shan mountains at this time of year. All the herders were moving their animals down the hills for the winter, back to the villages and the low lands. They march their herds right down the highways and all the cars slow down and honk until the sheep and the cows and the horses pass. The drivers of vehicles smile and scorn as if the herds are seriously impeding the progress of traffic. The men and boys on horseback smile and scorn as if the traffic is seriously impeding the progress of herding. Clearly the roads were built for everyone here. Every once in a while a large old Soviet truck will roll slowly by, stuffed to the brim with packed up yurts and belongings and even a few extra pieces of livestock.  In the villages, the people didn't seem to mind at all the dust stirred up by the animals, though we the tourists had to cover our faces to keep from choking. 
We spent the evening and morning with an amazing elderly couple in their beautiful farm house. They held a feast for us and helped me picked three different kinds of apples from their orchard, as many as I wanted, all of them perfectly crisp and delicious. They were so honored to have us in their home, guests from half way around the world, but I could never have expressed how honored I was to be in the presence of such wisdom.

1 comment:

  1. There is a plain beauty to your writing. It consumes the presence of everything around me and draws me far away