Letters Home continued , excerpts from Bulgaria

ImageI continue to walk in my moccasins this village in awe like in a musical dream state . The air is filled with the incense of nectar , open fires , burning leaves and the scent of spices cooking . Daily I’m chopping firewood , gathering fallen walnuts and feeling the sun . Yesterday I climbed high into an apple tree under the bluest sky just like I did as a young girl !  The land here is open with no fences and the animals are taken out to graze daily by a shephard who gets paid a fixed amount for each one in his care . At night the cows , goats and sheep are milked and kept in the yards behind the houses . It’s so lovely morning and evening to hear the different bells the animals wear tinkling in the distance before   you even see them . 



Monday , the old man shaking the bell from his donkey cart , who I had noticed before but was too nervous to approach ,  came down the lane yelling out in Bulgarian , so I decided to finally see what it was all about … he was sharpening tools and said his name was Milo , so I brought him the much used axe and his thankful smile as I handed him some coins , blessed my day .




There is no hot water here so I’m constantly boiling on top of the wood stove in the evenings and outside in the fire pit during the day . Some homes still use stone wells where a bucket is lowered from a rope . Just outside of my gate there is an old cracked cement drinking structure that I think is used for rain water for the animals returning from the fields . A walnut tree overhangs here and a few days ago I noticed that someone had cracked walnuts open with a stone on this cement … Many Roma’s live here and I see that some hang blankets over the doorways of abandoned buildings , with cots on the ground under areas of the tiled ceilings that are still standing … So now I leave apples and figs there and they are always gone the next morning . Today , a rose was left there . The Thracians called this place in Bulgaria the ” valley of roses ” and perfume and rose oil are still very highly prized from this area .




The villagers have welcomed me in many unusual ways … little Bobi with her dolls , Rosetti, ( no , roll the R she repeats to me and laughs when I try ) and Angala , a sweet teenager with bare feet who runs out from her gate and puts her arm thru mine as we walk in silence together a little ways . And a group of junior high aged kids ( school day from 9 to one) have jokes with me saying names in our differant languages . I’m beginning to recognize certain ones , the skinny boy with black  hair sticking straight up , the charming one with the shy smile and the dark skinned girl with the pale green eyes … they are all so beautiful to me . Too , there is the nice old man with the hand knit woolen sweater , wool cap , and baggy pants tucked into his boots and two kind women both named Elana .




I wish you could hear the sounds , a strange language with mothers scolding children , the cattle man directing the cows with their heavy hoofs , a particular laughter of the women at the open market . I wish I could take these sounds home , remember it all . As I write I feel both a tremendous sadness and a joy , a wanting from within me , something ecstatic . I choose my words carefully , this is what I truly feel for it rises in my chest like the water from the well and I swallow and my eyes brim with tears as if I will overflow.  I don’t know what this is or where it came from or just when it began . I never thought I could find so much in the passage of the cows and horses or in the sounds of the village children playing . Something has changed , last night I was invited to a village families home for a New Year’s Eve meal and part of me wants to mark this as the moment of change although I know that it isn’t . The change is something that has come more slowly , perhaps it even began before I left home . What this change means I don’t know , just like I don’t know if I am happier or sadder than I have ever been . There is a purpose in all this although I do not know yet what it is . There is so much that remains unsaid.





5 thoughts on “Letters Home continued , excerpts from Bulgaria

  1. You are so selfless, I don’t think I would enjoy what you are doing, however I find it interesting and very meaningful for you. You make me think of experiences I have never thought could be part of me, or people I know. I hope you come home safe and sound and teach the rest of us what you have learned. When are you coming home.


    1. Chris …. Your comment is profound to me … Thankyou for sharing your beautiful self …I will be home in April … I hope we can meet again after all these years since childhood …


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