– So how did you like it here?
Me and my friends started saying beautiful, it’s so beautiful, but the woman that we met on the narrow path in the forest, carrying a sack tied with a rope on her back, interrupted us saying with a lovely local accent:
– It might be beautiful, but life here is so hard, work from dawn till night. If we only we had a decent road, but like this we can only go to our homes by foot, up the hill. And it’s a long way from the road. And there’s no electricity, only those who have a generator might have electricity just a few hours a day.
I agree with her, but I’m trying to tell her that for us who live in the city among grey blocks and roads, who spend so many hours stuck in in an office at the light of the computer, with our brains overwhelmed by images and information, these green hills, the meadows with flowers where we lay watching the sky, the view all around us of the white mountains, the lack of telephone network, internet and traffic noise are a blessing.
And the woman understands, with a bright smile that doesn’t seem to be withered by the hard life she was talking about.
– I also have a house down in the village Domaşnea (a village that has a paved road, a train station and electricity), but when I’m staying there for two weeks or so, I feel like I am suffocating and then I come back here.
And this makes me think of how strange are people, how the place where we come from attract us and rejects us; we want to leave it behind like an old coat that we outgrew, but it lives within us, in spite of our conscious will, which we think it can control everything. Maybe there is deep inside us for many generations this desire to search for a better life, which sometimes equals with an easier life, a desire which pushes us forward on new grounds. But then, there is also inside us that fragile part that we feel joy and love with, which doesn’t give two pence for comfort and all those rules by which we (or the society) judge our well being; it’s that part that screams inside us against inertia and still waters.
Maybe those who know me or have read my blog know that these themes – what does „home” mean, leaving – coming back home – often come up in what I am writing. And a strange thing that I am discovering gradually, as I write more and more, is that writing is a wild animal, that you can’t really control, it takes you to unexpected places that you discover in wonder and sometimes wanders off and I am afraid it will never come back.
But in spite of this writing deviation, I hope you are still here 🙂 so I can tell you about the fantastic hiking trips that I made on that weekend. One day in Cheile Tasnei, wild, beautiful gorges, where I have been several times already, but I still like to go there every time I get the chance. And the first time in Inelet, a village with just four or five wooden houses spread on the hills, a little white church and a cemetery, where you can get only by climbing some hand-made wooden ladders (see the photo below). And we behaved like city kids 🙂 talking to the cows that were looking at us curiously, trying to pet the horses that were left free on the hills to graze, trying to befriend the dogs that were guarding the goat herds, by giving them biscuits, so they wouldn’t bark at us 🙂
I won’t deny it, it must be very hard to live in those remote villages, I could never do it, but for one day, walking on the flowery hills under the capricious sky that predicted a storm, I felt like I connected to a energy source, that I have to guard until my next getaway in the mountains.
Question: What is your favorite place that fills you with energy?
More photos from Herculane here
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For the Romanian version of this article go here