Ever since that old man grabbed me and would not let go in Villa O’Higgins, then later the other villagers told me they had found a girl tied up in his house, I have given myself permission to be ruder than I ever thought permissible during my upbringing.
Vilcabamba is well known for its healing properties. We learned that there are apparently two rivers running under the town, through beds of quartz crystal. This makes the town a huge draw for holistic folk from all over the world as well as people wanting to live longer.
Maria is a mighty woman.
A little mother too soon, a widow too soon, out for a walk and at just the moment to propel me up a hill without our even noticing.
Aged beyond her years but also so fresh to a particular path in life that she refreshed my eyes and challenged me to look for the beauty in the evening air, I wonder if she knows what she started when her daughter asked, “but mom, why are you walking?” and she replied simple, “because I want to.”