Lanterns

The houses in Laos are so flimsy, perched up on their long stilts as if waiting for the wolf to huff and puff and blow them down.

At night, skim-milk blue light shines out from open windows and doors and right through the thin reed-woven walls, so that the houses glow from inside like Chinese paper lanterns, just tethered to the ground by their skinny stilt legs. About to lift off and drift away.

A French woman I met who has been coming here for years told me she loves Laos because the people seem to treat life so lightly; as a gift. Flimsy and fragile and easily blown away.

I walk through the village and when I turn back I half expect it to have vanished, to see just a trail of vanishing lights in the dark sky.

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