. . . we
bivouacked not far below
the summit and looked out over the desert as the shadow of the
peak reached east and died, to let campfires twinkle under the
stars -- scores of campfires, scattered over the arid vastness
we had thought empty . . .
. . . I found myself
feeling an empathy I had never felt before. Who was around that
fire, the other fires, the farthest one? . . .What had the winds
told them that day, the vast sky, the sacred mountains? What
tradition, being understood and enjoyed around each fire, had
kept these people so well in touch with their land for so long?