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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bare Feet and Civilization

It is a lot like Hobbiton here, the delightful community in J. R. R. Tolkien’s fiction. The locals, many of them, especially the Native Americans, walk barefoot – and prefer it that way. Horses and donkeys, carts and wagons, are their preferred transportation system

(though when they need to they do take the bus into Volcán), and even in the larger cities one is not surprised to see someone in town on horseback to run errands. And they live in small, partly earth-sheltered homes that are small, clean, unpreprepossessing, yet comfortable. Flowers are everywhere: cultivated and wild, alongside roads, bushes and vines in yards, and in farmyards as well – coffee and onion and squash, to name three. The sense of growing things, some orderly in farms and others in a beautiful natural profusion, is palpable. The Earth is very much alive here.

The Lady of the Seasons, as some traditional nations call her, is very much present. The hills, mostly to the south of the village, are round like a woman’s breasts. Streams often join beneath hills, where they are nestled under trees and bushes, looking to me like the Lady’s beautiful genitalia. On the larger, steeper hills to the north one sees lines of coffee bushes sculptured onto steep flanks that are nearly cliff faces. The air is cheerful, and her breath, the breeze, is sweet and timeless.
However, to continue the analogy to Tolkien, Mordor encroaches – in the form of ultrawealthy gringos and their unnecessarily outsized mansions blotted into the middle of some otherwise transcendent vista, driving around in their big silver SUVs with tinted no-see-in windows.

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As they come to me to be written, new chapters will be added to this blog, so stay tuned! But the blogs up to a certain point are now chapters are now in a book.

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