Saturday, January 01, 2005

Embracing the here and present

All morning I've been thinking about the juggernaut of change that moves through landscapes and cultures with such speed, causing lamentable but seemingly inevitable losses. Now I just want to embrace the here and present. I try to concentrate on this serving of Maldhari tea, aware that I won't soon get another. The gracious way to consume it, I know, is with loud, appreciative slurps, and quickly, right off the stove. While the conversation flies back and forth, all incomprehensible to me, I take a sip, nearly scalding my tongue. Ouch. The liquid is rich with that sweet, musky flavor of sugared milk from a buffalo that has grazed in a forest among lions. It's luscious. But it's too hot to drink. And then, a moment later, it's too cool.

--David Quammen. Monster of God

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