Friday, October 5, 2012

Fire on the mountain!

This is Pitusiraya, the mountain under whose protective side the Apulaya Center for Andean Culture is situated. Each morning on my 10 min walk to Apulaya from where I live in Calca  my eyes are turned upwards, I am observing the mountain, watching to see what mood he is in today, happy, bright, cloudy, dark - and I say 'he' for the mountains are male, he is one of the bigger Apus in the Andean spiritualy and he is beautiful and strong and monstrous and definitely a force to be reckoned with.

Although I concentrate when I weave there is still time to look up and enjoy the view of the mountains, of the sheep in the garden, the neighbour's field or house etc. When I looked up from the weaving mid afternoon on Wednesday and my eyes went to visit Pitusiraya again I suddenly sat more errect than usual and my eyes did not go back to the counting of red and white warp threads.

 There was a fire close to one of the peaks on Pitusiraya and ..... it was not just a small bonfire, well, probably it had been some sort of small fire earlier on but now it had expanded - like a forest fire which starts up sometimes by lightning strike sometimes by human thoughtlessness - as it was, we had not had a lightning storm for days and so ... the human start up factor probably can not be denied. As the afternoon wore on the fire expanded, what we saw was the lower part of the fire line, where it kept rolling over new territory and gained strength.
In the daytime it was not hard to see the flames running like a necklace along the throat of Pitusiraya, sagging lower and lower as if the beads were strung on weak elastic.  As the day at school ended and we had exchanged thoughts on what might be up there - according to Apolonia, no sheep or runakuna - humans - but perhaps foxes and mice and .... well, i thought of the insects and little birds, not to mention the grasses, flowers and shrubbery which are at this point waiting for the wet season to start, in another month or so. This is the end of the dry season, the reason why a fire can so easily pick up speed when the wind hits it from the wrong direction.
 Thursday morning before heading to Cusco and before eating breakfast I went out into the garden and looked up to see how Pitusiraya had fared. And he surely did take a good burn - there were still little pockets of fire smoking and I have kept my fingers crossed that no wind of the kind to provoke a flareup would have occured during the day yesterday. I will see when I return home tomorrow by midday. As for now I will head out into new adventures in Cusco, there is a textile centre to visit, a couple of churches, another archeological dig out and ...... at some point an interesting lunch somewhere I would hope. Have a great day everyone!

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