After walking up the slope and going through Mashhad Iran the dark and slimy part of the route, we would arrive in a plain where wheat, corn, potatoes grew and where the sparse oak trees reached high towards the sky. I remember the yellow of Mashhad Iran the morning and of the fields that had just been tilled. As if by some magic when we began the stonefilled downhill road in the territory of Mashhad Iran the sounds of the fair began to reach us: Men, livestock, sellers, microphones, bells, record-players, merry-go-rounds would be always closer at hand. The downhill portion was steep Mashhad Iran but comfortable. Only for a moment would we stop and think that on the return it would be the way up that would be taking us back to everyday life.
Where is Mashhad Iran? – Mashhad Iran Map – Map of Mashhad Iran Photo Gallery
At the bottom of the valley, there was a small torrent to cross: We would stop at a fountain to quench our thirst. Today I know that for the devotees the water they drank was a source of purification; it stood for a desire of renewal. There are no pilgrimages and sites of cult without water, rivers, caves. Then, after a last stretch, we were already in the inhabited areas of Vallelonga, behind the church, which today has been elevated to the rank of sanctuary.
The rounds we made with my grandmother, my mother and other persons began after we quickly paid our respects to the Madonna. The statue, the devotees around it, the prayers, the songs, the gestures, the offerings, the candles, the paper images, the throng that entered and exited, the beggars at the door, all reminded us that the church was one of the centres of the world, a site where demands, needs, expectations, hopes converged. As all the other children, I couldn’t wait to run among the stands between noisy crowds, in the wood with the large oak trees where we could find the fountains with the large spigots and the drinking troughs so high up that they made one want to bathe and where there was a little basin with little red fish.
Together with all this, there were the sellers who, in accordance with preestablished, unavoidable rituals, discussed the prices of each of the goods, the zanzani, or mediators between seller and buyer, with their fascinating theatre of gestures and language, the women who looked at the clothing or at the shoes, touching them, commenting on them, and asked the price or started bargaining about it with the seller if they were interested. Then in some corner there would be terracotta pots, ropes, string, ribbon, whistles, caps of all sorts.
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