a weekend.

Date March 12, 2008

I treasure my weekends and guard them as though they were King Tut’s wealth boxed into two measly days.  This weekend a friend asked me if I’d like to see the real Colombia and believe it or not, I said yes.

We met early on Saturday in Villa Maria, a small town that shouts simplicity.  Men sitting about on worn benches in the central plaza watching as people strolled between the church and the bakery.  Wagons of fruit and vegetables for sale, the farmers offering to load the goods for free.  Dogs lazing in the shade and children skipping rope on the sidewalks.  The Jeep that was waiting for us was up a side street and I swore to remember it all as I made my way there.

We piled in, two in the front making friends with the driver, six in the back smushed and uncomfortable and one standing on the bumper because he wouldn’t fit anywhere else.  The ride was long and slow, the terrain rough, but breathtaking.  The mountains, the coffee plants in perfect rows along their sides, a man with a picking sack and a dog ambling toward the top.  A tight turn as we climbed up, up, up further into the Andes Mountains and eight skittish gringos covering their eyes sure that we would slide toward our deaths at any minute.

Three hours later we passed through a gate and bumped on toward a flat in the mountains.  There waiting for us were two pack mules, a Colombian cowboy, and nine horses, saddled and waiting to take us and our things to the farm we could see beyond the Rio Claro.  The ride in took another hour or so and I couldn’t help but smile as Halcón and I splashed through the river and clip clopped up the rocks.  Only in the movies.  Things like this only happen in the movies. 

Then around a corner and up a makeshift drive to the farmhouse.  It was painted a crisp white with red trimmings and doors and hanging baskets of verbena adorned every support post.  Two children played gleefully in the yard and their mother greeted us with warm cups of tea and an afternoon snack.  We wandered about the place taking it all in.  A pool fed by natural springs, hot from passing over lava seeping toward the crust of the Earth, chairs lined up on the wrap-around porch and an open air shower with a view of the mountains all told me I had found Colombia.

I spent the weekend riding horses through the mountains, hiking along the river, drinking fresh milk, and eating the food of the land around me.  I chatted easily in Spanish and napped beneath wool blankets, a book beside me as I slept.  And on Sunday afternoon, I sat on that perfect porch staring out into nothing, the sound of a crashing waterfall my only music, and wondered if there was any way I could ever make words describe it all.

8 Responses to “a weekend.”

  1. Lindsay said:

    Wow! You found it. I’ll be there one day. Love it.

  2. Stephen said:

    I longed for something like that today. Lexie has had a pretty crummy day, but the temperature has cracked 65 for the first time in months, so she made herself go outside for a while to soak up the sunshine. The sky was blue as we laid on a blanket in the back yard, and the birds were chirping and flying around like crazies. But I could hardly enjoy it for all the cursed (pronounced duo-syllabically) Fedex planes flying over our house. I said, “Maybe one day we’ll live somewhere where the planes aren’t so loud.”

  3. Summer said:

    Sounds kind of like the Colombian version of a weekend with the Nashes! Do you have photos? I would love to see what the farmhouse and countryside looked like. I’m glad you had such a delightful weekend! But was your butt sore from riding the horse? I always love horseback riding and then pay for it the next day!

  4. Kylie said:

    I love so much to read the adventures that you have been on and your journey of day to day life! It provides me with specifics for prayer, my support from all way over in Oz 🙂
    Em, how i wish i was with you on horse back riding through the country side! Admiring just how awesome our Gods creation is. xox

  5. Emily said:

    I do have pictures, Sum, and will post them soon. I’m not quite as skilled as Linds and Whit just yet, but I’m working on it!

  6. Rachel said:

    do you know how alive your words are? i mean, really. they jump off and across the page. i felt like i was there with you while i was reading this. writing is your God-given talent. i love you!

  7. Jacobo said:

    Is that a hint about the pictures?

  8. overdue | Among the Wildflowers said:

    […] ago and far away, I posted about a weekend. Summer asked me for pictures and I finally figured it out. Well, Blake did. So, […]