Past the rocky wadi, the lush green hills are resplendent with purple
onion flowers, running goats, laughing travellers, and the sound of
Shepherd boys coaxing their flock through a narrow passageway. We
walk, carefully placing our footsteps around the stones and shrubs.
The steep green hills, surrounded by cliffs and caves where hawks and
grouse nest peacefully, give way to a rocky plateau. The path dips
down into the remnants of Roman villages, ancient and still. Finally
we reach a Bedouin camp and rest our weary feet.
In the tent, a shepherd plays the flute by the flickering firelight.
The stars are out and the lights of Jordan and Jericho glimmer in the
horizon. We drink tea after tea, listening to stories told by an
elderly matriarch. A weary walk over to the women's quarters, lights
out. Consciousness drifts and dreams come in colorful and bright.
5am: A tap on the shoulder, I wake to find that our hostesses have
prayed their morning prayers and are ready to start their work day.
They haul large buckets into the animal pen, rolling up their skirts,
and milk the goats quickly with their experienced hands. Their
laughter rings through the early morning as they watch me begin to
emulate them clumsily. The goat becomes impatient and breaks loose,
running every which way, only to be caught and brought back again by a
small smiling girl. The fresh milk will be set and made into soft
salty cheese- a morning well spent.