In our last writing group today, we did an exercise to help begin to synthesize the experiences they’ve had over the past two weeks into a narrative that captures Peru. I’m going to post several of these as the closing entries in my Peru blog…thanks for coming along with me on this journey!
This, from Lucie Eggleston from South Carolina:
Since I’ve come to Peru, I’ve seen the kindness of strangers in the stitching of my watch band in the restaurant just this morning; in the hospitality of Valentine and his family; the employees of hotels in Lima and Cusco; in the bus attendant at Machu Picchu when I couldn’t find my ticket.
Since I’ve come to Peru, I’ve seen the colors of goods in the markets—the avocados, limes, tomatoes, potatoes from Peruvian farms; the colors of the weavers on the backs of women who carry the future in babies on their backs; the colors of the walls at the school, the primary colors of tires turned into playgrounds; the uniforms of the school children; and the perfectly beautiful children with their pure olive skin, big brown eyes and wide smiles.
Since I’ve come to Peru, I’ve seen the supreme majesty of God’s creation in the mountains—the jutting, dramatic peaks of stone and brown earth and the lush vegetation and pyramidal forms at Machu Picchu.
Since I’ve come to Peru, I’ve heard the explosions of celebration in Cusco as fireworks pepper the sky; the rhythmic toll of train wheels undergirding the moving panorama of everchanging mountains and river; the sounds of laughing children at the school and on the streets; the voices of new friends reading from their notebooks; the sound of Bob’s voice this morning on What’s App as if he was right next door; the laughter over dinner last night with Elise and Carol; the announcements in Spanish on airplanes and trains, at airports and in train stations; the blurred bouncing noise in the yoga room; the soothing music of Gonzales as we lay on mats in the darkness…
Since I’ve come to Peru, I’ve felt more than anything gratitude: gratitude for health; for new friends; for the writing practice and the learning from others with a shared passion; for the resources to travel and see the world; for all those who’ve gone before us to leave an imprint on the earth; for the shared humanity and amazing diversity of culture, environment, architecture, plant life.
Since I’ve come to Peru, I’ve tasted pumpkin, pumpkin, and pumpkin—timely since Halloween is tomorrow—the best pumpkin soup in Cusco with wonderful bread that morphed into croutons; sweet potatoes with ginger and mint; asparagus topped with Andean cheese—both of which I will try at home; wonderful coffee with hot milk, Pisco sours in Lima and coca tea.
Since I’ve come to Peru, I’ve been reminded of all the reasons I love to travel and all the reasons I love to go back home. I’ve been reminded of the beauty of the earth, the kindness of strangers, the many things I’d like to change about myself and the things I like about myself just the way they are. I’ve been reminded of the goodness and mercy surrounding me, the gift of the present, and my favorite line of poetry, from Tennyson’s Ulysses: “I am part of all that I have met.”
–Lucie Eggleston, October 30, 2017