One morning, a couple of days ago, I was walking beside Blackwater Lake. The lake was peaceful. Not even the slightest wave. A clear skyblue in the silence. On the distant eastern shore, a mountainous island rose from the depths of the lake. To the west of the deep skyblue lake, it seemed as though people had been moving among the bulrushes. The grasses had not faded on the mountain. A deep green. A few geese waddling on the banks. And a couple of white birds, unmoving. The surface of the lake was like a mirror. A few encampments along the banks. Outside the encampments, the cows and bulls are lying on their sides. As autumn moves in, the cows briefly forget their calves, and head for what remains of the fresh grass. This morning the cows are in the pasture, but tomorrow morning they will be on the tethering-line. Milkpaint. Miilk is ladled into Blackwater Lake to whiten and thicken it. I warm myself in the sun, high up, free from a cloudy veil, and a distant wind chills me slightly on the road. When the children are up, why should they go to school? The ger are scattered around the encampment. A remote sound, the noise of a distant car. A dry white dust rises into the wind of generations. The eyes of the cows and their calves ooze in the swirling dust, their coats fluttering. Hard pieces of dung blowing in lines. The blue mountains are yearning for the blue sky. A cuckoo rises up, thrilled, like a blue bearcub. And I head home, watching again the surface of the lake, ashamed to be abandoning it until the coming of spring. And the great blue water remains, sighing like my mother.
30 September 2005