Ochre colored hills rise on both sides of the valley. Behind them, white-capped peaks build up layers and layers of steady silence, an amphitheater of rock and snow. Humming and bumming, an avalanche rushes by and then, the world is quiet again.
Fresh snow melts and streams down into the valley in millions of tiny torrents. Where the water makes its way, the earth is covered with dwarf juniper and crooked pine trees, an oasis of green and gold. However once you step uphill, there is, again, only yellow earth, clear blue skies, and your humble self between them. Sunrays strike mercilessly down, the heat rises up from the ground and goes up into your nostrils, stinging your eyes, stirring somewhere deep inside you a desire to fall along those rays and stretch yourself on the warm, stony surface, to embrace the immensity of it with your wide-open arms.
Timidly, I lie down and press my sunburnt cheek against the earth, firmer and firmer with every breath, until the minutes run like hours, until I start streaming along this flatness, like a tiny stream, folding along with it into hills, curving gently into streams and falling down into icy lakes. I press with the palms of my hands into the ground and, reluctantly standing up, I hear every crumb of rock sliding from under me. Tiny stones still cling to my body and roll hastily from under my feet, as I walk down toward the flowing river, leaving behind me that wide warm space, which will stay there forever, always ready to embrace me back.