In the distance, Lake Chapala’s
a silky sheen of white
all the way to Mount García;
but near the shore, her surface
is worried by waves from the south and the west—
El Colimote blows today.
And in this dawn, not seen before,
which will never come again,
waning moon still makes
shining diamonds on the water.
Pelicans sail with regal grace,
and egrets blinding white,
kissing the lake good day.
Having cast his net, a fisherman
stands in his boat
brightening sky and the lake’s patina.
Waves repeat white music
and carry my meditation
aloft to the rising sun.
Their ripples, caressing the rocks,
nearly reach my feet with their refrain.
My vision blurs to wider focus.
I gaze at something almost seen
through the gauzy veil of beauty.
All the wind, and light, and music
sudden seem to cease—
Then I know, when it is time
for me to leave for larger realms,
I’ll thrust myself with birthing joy
and swelling gratitude for earth as well;
for mornings clothed in glory
and beings dressed in bodies;
for fisherman and waning moon,
and pelicans in white.
And for the queenly touch
of southwest wind upon my face.
from The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks by Terri Tempest Williams: “Cynicism flourishes in air-conditioned rooms. Like any true place, the desert is a risk. This is our inheritance — the beauty before us. We cry. We cry out. There is nothing sentimental about facing the desert bare. It is a terrifying beauty…We continue to evolve and transform who we are in relationship to where we are… For precious moments we touch and taste life uninterrupted. Awe sneaks up on us like love. We surrender to the ecstatic outpouring of life before us…Each breaking wave, each rush of the sea on the slope of sand, reminds me why these places of pilgrimage matter. They matter to me because in the long view, I do not. I am driftwood. I am rockweed. I am osprey and the mackerel in the clutch of her feet. I am a woman standing on the edge of the continent looking out.”
In Bucerías Mexico this week, I, too, stand on the (west coast) edge of the continent looking out. I am grateful to Terri Tempest Williams for reminding me that I am in relation to where I am. The steady surf in Banderas Bay washes me over and over with its energetic imprint. And yes, I am evolving and transforming, and beauty has everything to do with it.
Thirty days I waited patient
and this is the day you came.
All month I wondered
how you would find me.
Today you arrive, to bless my new home
with good fortune and large-hearted love.
Two of you grace my feeder,
hung far from trees, on a tiny patio.
Your hummingbird hearts so huge,
at two and a half percent of your weight,
the largest of all the animals;
my human one a mere
five tenths of one percent.
Dear hummingbirds who visit me,
please stretch my heart
to love as large as you.
What a tiny bird you are
to have such stunning powers—
Flying backwards! Hovering!
Your fluttering wings do hum
but even more astounding,
they move in the pattern of the symbol
that looks like an eight, and signifies
Hummers who have come to visit,
I humbly ask that I remember
your gift of continuity.
And I’m told you can fly in the rain,
and shake your heads to dispel the water.
A hundred times a second you shake,
while you fly, and maintain direction!
Will you help me shake my troubles away
while I stay my course, like you?
In Lak’ech, I say, Ala K’in, you greet me back;
I am you, you are me.
Yo soy tu, tu eres yo; In Lak’ech, Ala K’in, called the law of another self,
sings harmony, accord,
the music we are meant to sound.
It is mine to find inside,
yet it is you who answer.
In Lak’ech, Ala K’in mirrors other greetings.
From India, Namasté:
the divine in me
to the divine in you.
And the Lakota hello,
All my Relations,
]I am related to all things,
and all things are related to me.
A practice of these greetings
creates the world we want.
In Lak’ech, Ala K’in:
a way to see
past the separate pieces,
surrendering belief in lack;
a daily hailing
to place ourselves in unity.
I am you, You are me.
I touch, we touch,
it is Source we touch,
meeting in the whole.
Harmony, accord, the music
we are meant to sound
is yours to find inside—
yet it is I who answer.