Romanian Grace

The dragon sits by the side of the road, watching those who pass. Beware lest he devour you. We go to the Father of Souls, but it is necessary to pass by the dragon. -- St. Cyril of Jerusalem

14 October, 2006

Saturday Evening Post

OK. I am now satisfactorily convinced that there is no existing trail down the north shoulder of the Magura. I tried it two weeks ago and found myself lost in an ensconcing fog mid-way down. Today, I found the trail through the field and back into the woods, followed blazes down on an ambiguous trail for maybe a quarter-mile, and then the trail and blazes disappeared altogether. So, once again I found myself bushwhacking, racing the rapidly setting sun. It was, in fact, already long out of sight behind the Magura, and the air around me had turned violet and bronze. I forgot about looking for blazes, was thankful I had thrown my compass into my backpack (won't leave home without it again), and headed south-by-southeast...down.
When I made it to what seemed to be a logging road, I was at first relieved, because...well, it was SOMEthing. Then I realized I still didn't know where I was or if I was walking the right way. What if I had travelled too far south...or east...or southeast? In that case, I would wind up most likely, in some Romanian peasant's backyard (I use the word "peasant" here only because that is the word that came to mind at the time. I know there aren't really Romanian peasants anymore). So I began piecing together what I would say in my broken Romanian to the man who would answer my knock at the door, or come out to investigate what his dog was snarling at and/or biting: "I don't speak much Romanian. I am a little lost. Where is Codlea?" The I began imagining that he was, in fact, a very kind Romanian peasant with a strong-armed wife who overheard my plight and insisted that he invite me in for dinner (is it possible that a mooch like me is actually a missionary?).
You can imagine my disappointment when I came upon a familiar looking blaze painted on a tree, then a recognizable landmark, then came out on the trail where I had begun three hours before. I gladly made do with leftover meatloaf, buttered toast, and instant coffee.


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