Showing posts from 2018

Long, Cold Night

The earth shook as the mountain spewed another plume of white smoke.  I looked over at my wife tending our two babies and wondered what sacrifice the mountain gods might demand.  The mountain rumbled again from deep within its belly and sent a shiver down my spine. It had been days since the Shaman had set out to climb the mountain followed by the last of our young men bearing small gifts from the village. Our older son was among them, he barely qualified as a man yet the Shaman had demanded he join the pilgrimage.  The mountain rumbled again and another plume of smoke spat up into the air. I looked up from my musings and met my wife’s eyes. She made not a sound but I knew she wanted to pack up our babies and head for our mountain cave.  She had been a child of the mountain and I had wooed her down to my village at the edge of a vast white plain. She came with a dowry of five llamas but I loved her for her warm brown eyes and wide smile. She was my everything. 

Feeling Small

Salt Wind Sky Air Sun Endless blue white horizons We leave no footprints When I wrote this, I was sitting in Airstream Trailer on the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia.   The vast expanse of the salt flats really drives home the fact that we humans are but tiny specks on the face of this earth.   Our journey to the trailer took the better part of the day as we left from San Pedro de Atacama (Chile) climbing up to through the Andes to the border with Bolivia. Along the way, we stopped at the Emerald Lagoon, a geyser field, and the Red Lagoon.   As we drove up to the latter, Eric, our guide, told us that it had shrunk significantly since his last visit just 3 weeks ago. Bolivia has been in the grip of a severe drought for the past several years and the lagoon is surely the worse for that. It is an important nesting site for 3 types of volcano flamingos (James, Andean, and Chilean) that call the Andes home and to seeing the lagoon this way drives home the impact of clima