It was the end of June. The lambs had already been born earlier that spring and the sheep were sheared. The cattle was making its way up the mountain. Abrán was directing them. I followed alongside the donkeys, which were loaded with supplies. From now on life would be slow and tranquil. I found a fitting spot. I unloaded the donkeys and pitched the tent. I cut branches for the beds. I began to prepare a meal for when Abrán would return. Already the first flock of sheep was arriving. Sometimes I would get up to stop them, to redirect them, so they could get to know their first campsite. The grass was tall, fresh, and lush. The aspens, black and white, with shaking leaves, sang a trembling song of life and happiness. The fragrances and the flowers. The icy, crystalline water of the stream. Everything was in peace and harmony. This is why the Gods themselves chose to live in the mountains. The range is an eternal celebration.
Soon I heard familiar laughter and voices. I gave a shout. These were my friends from Tierra Amarilla, the Yellow Land. Abelito Sanchez, accompanied by Clorinda Chávez and Shirley Cantel. The four of us were in ninth grade. We were fifeen years old. We unsaddled and staked out our horses. Momentarily, we began enjoying ourselves. There was so much to say. Questions. Jokes. So much laughter to resume. Now I shudder to remember it. How beautiful was that moment! We were young. We knew how to love and how to sing. Without alcohol, without drugs, without uncouth vulgarities. When Abrán arrived, we ate. I had a tasty, delicious-smelling side of lamb, roasted on the coals. They had brought delicasies that we were not accustomed to in the range. The joy and good food, the joy of friendship and the idealic location transformed this experience into a feast to remember forever.
Shirley Cantel and I had grown up together. We went to school together since we were children. I carried her books. Later we...