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Backpacking with a Book

A lot happened, some were rewarding, some surprising, some unwelcome, some outrageous. But May indeed was a rewarding month.  I’m back on trails again. A call from a travel editor prodded me to reacquaint myself to the trails. Mountains, trails—they remind me of us, humans. They can be unpredictable, predictable.  They can be selfish, inamiable, indifferent. The boyfriend said geography could not be selfish, humans could, are. “You were trying to personify geography,” he said. No, I wasn’t. It’s a cold fact. And nature has every reason to be.

It reminds me of Arundhati Roy’s passage from her The God of Small Things.  

Then to give the kids a historical perspective, Chacko told them about the earth woman. He made them imagine that the earth – 4600 million years old – was a 46 year old woman- as old as Aleyamma teaacher, who gave them Malayalam lessons. It had taken the whole of earth woman’s life for the earth to become what it was. For the oceans to part. For the mountains to rise. The earth woman was 11 yrs old when the first single celled organisms appeared. The first animals, creatures like worms and jellyfish, appeared only when she was forty. She was over forty five – just 8 months ago – when dinosaurs roamed the earth. The whole of human civilization as we know it, began only 2 hrs ago in the earth woman’s life.

Human civilization is too  immature, too young. That makes us  selfish. Geography is too old, too experienced. That makes it stubborn, selfish in its own terms. Perhaps unyielding is the apt adjective.

May. A lot happened. An island. It was an initiation of a real island living. Six mountains. One was historical, one less-trodden, one comforting, one illusional, one erratic, one open. Homebound to string words after words one mountain to another.

Yes, Tuburan-bound.

Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona! I’m in my early 30s and is currently based in Ha Noi, Vietnam.I primarily write poetry and short stories in Cebuano and lengthy travel essays in English. Blogging has become an outlet to think out loud. I live the life I set for myself. I try to live an unapologetic life. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at Find me somewhere else!

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