Where there’s quiet and earth
where i can slowly grow
instead of rushing through
Paksong sits on the bolaven plateau 1,300metres up from the rest of laos. We read in lonely planet that it has a microclimate cooler than the steamy lowlands. Cooler turned out to be bone-chilling for us tropical creatures as the sun faded. 24 December, as different regions around the world were experiencing their own worst snow/ longest rainfall/ strange winds, i thought my shivering body would compress right into an icicle on my bed in savannah guesthouse (disclaimer: was in shirts and shorts only).Thank goodness for the thick and clean blankets.
The owner proudly told us the next day it had been 7 degC. That’s 44.6 fahrenheit. Not funny. But it froze our thoughts; as we shuddered our way to dinner and back, brushing our teeth, and hopping under the covers, as our teeth chatters, all one thinks about is breath, warmth, and staying alive. Albeit in a very undramatic manner. It is impossible to mope while your teeth and the very bones of your shoulders and fingers are chattering.
Amid my cold-headache (under the helmet), i watched the sky slowly turn a dusky rose-orange swirl all around us. On our motorbike back from the waterfalls, i kept turning back to look at the molten sun trace a molten yellow diagonal across the sky behind us. Faint kaleidoscope for about an hour. It was impossible to crash the bike- there were few motorbikes, fewer vans and cars, and hardly anyone. Everyone took their time to look and observe and give way. It was just beautiful. Our ears and heart still held the pounding rhythm of the waterfalls. Our eyes had to look through the darkening hue of the evening. It was like this, in Paksong, thoughts came, old ones and new. Like the dust, it swirled gently. Old friends taking root and form again.
I imagined the people living the plateau bathed in this gentle splendour every day. Perhaps a different shade during the warmer seasons. Painful fingers and dust-filled pores aside, it was one of the best moments in my life.
Why paksong and not the other places?
Because we were riding on the land and nothing else.