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In the wilderness lies the preservation of the world.
Henry David Thoreau

There are thousands of sounds but only one silence.

Henriette & Pascale Silence. Around me is a valley with forests that are more than a thousand years old, covered in mist. An indomitable snow-covered peak rises in the distance. Our canoes move silently towards the still invisible sun, the quiet is only broken by more and more birds chirping. Lost in thought, I enjoy the incomparable beauty of the awakening nature when suddenly the sound of flapping wings draws my gaze upwards. High in the sky, a bald eagle accompanies us on our journey, before it lands on a tree branch. Shortly afterwards I hear a soft splashing. Two seals play in the water. As I watch them all of a sudden I feel a deep gratitude. Not only that I got up at three in the morning to put on a headlight and paddle in the darkness. But especially that there are still some secret peaceful places like this on our earth, and that I can be here to experience them. I feel a deep sense of harmony that is strengthened by the Burman River Song that Tessa taught us. The singing gives me the feeling that I belong here. Starfish, ravens and a deer with her young watch us as we pass. Finally I get to see my adopted animal – the common limpet (snail) – and would have loved to take a few of them home with me to keep as pets. They are so cute with their feelers and the strong suction bodies. Finally light eddies in the water show that we are slowly moving from freshwater to saltwater; where the river ends and the ocean begins. In the meantime the sun is high in the sky and I don’t feel any more of the morning cold in my bones. With a heavy heart I look back over my shoulder and say goodbye to the magic of the Burman River. Cooling off in the clear water and the Final of the World Cup bring welcome distraction. I am motivated by the German victory and begin to pack my things for the next adventure. Let’s go to Toba Valley! Translated by Pilar Wolfsteller

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