Sunday, March 2, 2008

Join Me On My Meander

(This is an entry for taking photos - in your mind. Taken straight from my Mexico journal, the following post is simply here to transport you...)

We near our destination as the sun turns golden and begins its descent. We abandoned civilization a long time ago; our bus zigzags on a crazy mountain road through ash-green forests. At one point, the ocean reveals herself in a staggering, breathtaking view - in which the entire Tour gasps - and then we're plunged back into the roads.

We reach the bottom of the mountain, pass a security checkpoint (military men stomp in and stomp out in their boots, then direct us to the nearest beach with a grin and a wave), and we then drive down some even MORE outlandishly OUT-THERE roads. And all this is going on in a surreal golden light, as if we're in a dream.

We pull in. When I climb out, Manu calls, "Go, go! You only have two hours 'til the sun sets, then we gotta go! Use your time wisely,"

I am greeted by a villager pulling water from his stone well for his vibrant, pushy goats. Chickens dash about. Thatched huts surround me in a sweeping semicircle.
I hear the waves crash in the distance and the salt on my skin and tongue. I walk to the ocean, feeling the cool sand in my toes, the wind in my hair. As I emerge from the little village of thatched houses, my jaw softly drops in wonder.

The ocean. The mountains. The setting sun. The beach stretches off to my left to meet the towering mountain in the distance - the one we just drove down - and to my right the sun sets on another majestic mountain. And here we are in the valley, facing out to the deep blue Pacific and her shimmering waves.

After so many straight days of traveling, I feel peace flow through my veins. I dash into the amazing water, then take off sprinting. I run and run amongst the waves until I bend over catching my breath, laughing.

I look back to everyone else swimming, tiny figures in the distance. The sun is setting behind them, and I revel how the misty air seems suffused with gold, silhouetting those who walk amidst the sand.

I continue on, breathing in... breathing out, soaking in every moment. I know: soon it will be back to the bus and more traveling.

I then observe a fascinating work of art in nature, forming before my very eyes. As the wind blows across the sand, ripples and rivulets form. I watch, entranced, as the sand then channels through these rivulets like sashes of gold, whispering, rising to life then melting away.

As I continue on my japa walk, two villagers on horses - riding bareback - gallop past me, their shirts clinging to their chests, the horses' manes and tails streaming behind them like banners. They ride off into the distance, becoming tiny figures then finally disappearing. I wonder what it would be like to be that free - the villager OR the horse. Imagine living so deeply in nature.

When I return from my very long meander down the beach, the sun has set and the valley is filled with a soft twilight glow. Everyone has left the beach except for a crew of jolly potwashers. I join their company and capture some photos, laughing and chatting, and I feel my spirit soften after such intensity of this first week of the Tour.

As we board the rumbling bus in the cool, soft blue evening, I turn around to gaze out over the thatched roofs to the empty sky that hovers over the sand and ocean, the stars emerging. A thought runs through me like a current: I'll be back. One day, I'll return. It will be years from now, but one day I'll stand on this ocean again, appreciating nature and revelling in life.

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