View of Rio Intag from terraza outside our room at Tierra & Sol Lodge, Intag, Ecuador
This morning as I walked along the lakeshore,
I fell in love with a wren
and later in the day with a mouse
the cat had dropped under the dining room table.
In the shadows of an autumn evening,
I fell for a seamstress
still at her machine in the tailor's window,
and later for a bowl of broth,
steam rising like smoke from a naval battle.
This is the best kind of love, I thought,
without recompense, without gifts,
or unkind words, without suspicion,
or silence on the telephone.
The love of the chestnut,
the jazz cap and one hand on the wheel.
No lust, no slam of the door --
the love of the miniature orange tree,
the clean white shirt, the hot evening shower,
the highway that cuts across Florida.
No waiting, no huffiness, or rancor --
just a twinge every now and then
for the wren who had built her nest
on a low branch overhanging the water
and for the dead mouse,
still dressed in its light brown suit.
But my heart is always propped up
in a field on its tripod,
ready for the next arrow.
After I carried the mouse by the tail
to a pile of leaves in the woods,
I found myself standing at the bathroom sink
gazing down affectionately at the soap,
so patient and soluble,
so at home in its pale green soap dish.
I could feel myself falling again
as I felt its turning in my wet hands
and caught the scent of lavender and stone.
~ Billy Collins ~
Love...in all its guises and forms, the very force of life as we know it, yet manifesting in the smallest, most homely, most subtle ways. Travel definitely helps me keep in touch with the reality of This Love.
With this, I am beginning the 4th pictoral blog in Ecuador.
Amrita, my god daughter, is on vacation between trimesters at school, so we traveled to a rainforest zone called Intag for 4 days..."we" being German, Amrita's dad, Adelaida, her mom, Kenisha and Josh (young adults here on university study abroad projects -- Adelaida is hosting them in their holme).
We rented a room for six for $40 per night in Intag at Tierra & Sol, a lovely lodge, and $7 each for three lovely meals per day(I broke my "flesh" fast and had some of the delicious trout from Rio Intag who I thanked for sacrificing their lives for our wellbeing). We also ate platanos (a type of banana, cooked in various exquisite ways), yuca (a potato-like tuber, which is prepared in many ways) and many other delicious delicacies.
More photos in Intag:
If you look at the first photo with the huge prominent rock on the other side of Rio Intag, this is the same rock Adelaida and German are waving from, taking in some sun. To get there, they crossed the bridge that you see further down among the photos.
Path from our room.
Kenisha at the gate to Tierra & Sol (you can see the "Sol" part of the sign)
The six of us at breakfast in the lodge -- from the left Joshua, Kenisha, Adelaida, German, Amrita, me
Kenisha and Adelaida
Kenisha and I heading up to a garden owned by Tierra & Sol of bananas, pineapples, coffee (Intag is known for their delicious beans), yuca, corn, etc.
Amrita heading up to the garden
Me, Joshua, Adelaida on a hike
Hanging out in the thermal pools
More hiking, crossing the Rio Intag
Amrita, Adelaida, German and I also went to another beautiful pueblo and area called Zuleta, where the indigenous women are known for their beautiful embroidery.
German is enjoying the wood furniture of an "artesano" in Zuleta
Adelaida and I
An imprompteau picnic in the country surrounding Zuleta (German took the photo)
Barriga llena, corazon contento (full stomach, happy heart).
A few miscellaneous photos:
Amrita and I heading out (watch out world!) The front house is owned by an American couple, Cassandra and Julian, who have started the first micro-brewery in Imbabura province in their B & B, Rio Blanco Bed & Brew. Ours is the back house.
Amrtia taking a juice break from helping mow the front yard
A nice fire going in the front room
Fanicita, a dear friend and very special woman, with a deep sense of service to others, modeling a hand-made hat
Kenisha, Amrita and me in the kitchen at home
Amrita and Joshua
Amrita's amazing hair, in a dressy style (Josh and Adelaida in the background)