Friday, November 09, 2012

Walking with Ivan

Normally, Ivan entertains with a full-dress horse routine at the end of January’s writing workshop. Today, he and I are walking up our hill. As we climb, trailed by Sofi (mongrel dog beloved of visitors), his sharp 12-year-old eyes soon spy lizards darting between the rocks, clumps of huilli lilies among the deadwood under the greening bushes, and tiny wrens guarding nests in the espino. As he picks the easiest way along barely discernable rabbit paths, he points out tiny flowers and button mushrooms.
Above, where I make out circling hawks, he spots a pair of eagles, identifiable he assures me, by their soaring glide and white undersides. Further up, even I can’t miss the bleached ribs and skulls of long dead cattle scattered on the rocky slope. To catch my breath, I stare down the gully where after wet winters a cascade runs, and I tell him I once paddled there with his sister.
All about the air is alive with the rustling and twittering of spring life and when we finally sit on an east-facing rock on the hill’s broad shoulder, the snow-dusted slopes of the Andes shimmer in the distance. On our way down, I wonder aloud about the absence of shrieking lapwings. And Ivan says they’ve retreated to the lower fields, where the earth is soft after the rains, and worms abound. He says there’s a flock of ducks there too. I’d noticed the glaze of the flooded fields, but not the ducks.

Join us in January, in full summer. The green on the hills will have faded, but the garden will be full of roses and morning glory, the patio will be shady and the pool cool. Books and poems wait everywhere and Ivan will be around to identify local flora and fauna, dance the Cueca and demonstrate horsemanship.

Workshop details below.

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