Young Shepherd

Sometimes, memories are found in the strangest places.

Here, it's as if Nature temporarily amended this Classical-style statue, adding a traditional Svan hat out of snow to the boy-shepherd, reminding me of the Caucasus and of my grandfather. 

Part-Georgian and raised on the border of the Svaneti region of that country, my grandfather was not, however, of Svan descent, an ancient mountainous people described as the best warriors of the east in Crusader literature.

But, when I was little, he often wore a felt Svan hat. The latter are made so they could also retain water, and are used as cups or a bowls by sheep herders in the mountains. My grandfather also had a number of other items that seemed otherworldly to me as a child, such as traditional drinking horns. 

And they still do, except with added nostalgia.

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