Genghis Khan and the Ice Temples of Central Asia

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I awoke to the sensation of dawn rising.

 

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Somewhere between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

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41,000 feet above.

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Bound for central China.

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The cabin was silent but for me,

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as the black night yielded to the dawn.

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The closed, mysterious, secretive and distant lands of the republics of the former Soviet Empire lay shut beneath me.

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Sapphire glows pleated the ledge between Heaven and the Earth.

 

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Dawn’s cautious sunlight sprinkled the horizon with its amber glow.

 

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Lonely, apricot coloured, clouds drifted past me through the vast, empty sky.

 

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Crossing the lands which mark the border between Islam and Buddhism.

 

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Ancient seats of nomadic empires laid in horizonless steppes.

 

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Silk roads holding secrets deep.

 

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Passing over lands where Ghenghis Khan had once weaved his armies,

 

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bringing Empires remote violently down onto their knees.

 

 

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Frozen lakes.

 

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Crystal clear torrents.

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Glaciers running slowly through icy veins.

 

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Rippling gales chasing bareness, everywhere.

 

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Endless white planes.

 

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Centuries old. Wild and untouched.

 

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Sparse villages.

 

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Stony mountains climbing so high I could almost reach out and touch them.

 

 

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Inhospitable lands,

 

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cut by time and dreaded weather,

 

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lay frozen,

promising to hold off summer and spring.

I felt like I was at the earth’s edge.

 

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And, as I drifted further East,

I thought of you,

as winter stretched out everlasting,

and my warm tears threatened to melt the snow beneath me.

 

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