Rhythms of Creation:
A Family's Impressions of Indigenous Peoples of the World




I was standing on the side of a desolate road in Tibet, all of my belongings in a pack on my back,  with a small bag of apples, bread and peanut butter and my thumb pointing skyward in hopes that my signal would be understood as an international symbol.  A blue truck came billowing down the road.  As it approached I realized that this truck was carrying 2 cows, a pig and about 25 Tibetan people all crammed into the back.  They were spilling out the sides and sitting on the roof.  The driver saw me, stopped and motioned for me to get in.  It was obvious that they wouldn't have had room for a chicken, let alone me and my pack.  But they insisted and so I climbed in.  I found a corner of a rice sack to sit on.  I was leaning against one man, with another practically sitting on my shoulder, while a girl of about 15 sat on my lap and a cow trying to keep its balance kept stepping on my foot, which I could not move because not only was there no where to put it, but we were so tightly packed in there that any movement at all was not an option.

Everyone in the truck was fascinated by my blond hair and fair skin and I was being pet and touched more than a bunny in a petting zoo.  Although I could not communicate verbally with these people, through smiles and gestures I became connected and close to them.  They were so warm and open that when we arrived at my destination and I left the truck I felt sad and alone.  It was as though the bed of that truck and all the people and animals in it were a whole and I was now severed from them never to be reunited again.  I felt like a hand or a foot that the body had just left behind while the rest just went on living.  I had to survive alone.

I was in awe of the way the Tibetan people had of making me feel like I was a part of them.  I felt such a strong connection with them, just by sitting with them, with no exchange of words.

A part of them will remain forever with me.

On an experience in Tibet



Connie Baxter Marlow