The nap

Dreams, flying over the Atlantic

Deeper and deeper into the woods you go. It is dark and so humid that the ground has turned to moss. You look around and realize that not just the ground, but almost everything, save for a bit of face of timeless rock or ancient trunk of wood, is covered in a thick green layer of moss.

Sore muscles from days on the trail and heavy eyelids goad you into taking a short nap on this enticingly soft natural bedding…

Your body jerks and you open your eyes to see nothing but white, everywhere. You wonder if you really woke up. You try, but cannot even see your hand in front of your face. Sitting up slowly you look up, down, and all around, there is nothing but white. In vain you try again to see your hands, feet and even your chest. All is white.

Finally, you close your eyes and see the familiar old black mixed with red you get when you close your eyes in the presence of light. Light passes through. There is the choice, black or white, yet other than that, your eyes can make out nothing. You extend your arms up over your head, stretching high into the white as you take a deep breath into forever.

Inevitably, you relax back down and fall off into dreamland, leaving it all behind as if it had been just a dream.

“top” lists…

Top 7, Top 11, Top 19, Top 10… Top numbers for Top lists. All of these make you feel like you have to do things, and they even list them for you. If you happen to stumble upon one concerning a place you’ve visited and can’t tick all or maybe even one of the boxes you get that horrible feeling, you missed out. Some people will even go as far as to ask you why the hell you even went there if you didn’t see this or that top place. On the other hand, if you see the list before you go then you will undoubtedly get to participate in the top however-many most crowded experiences. I believe the only way one of those lists could be true is if you make it yourself, and even then your own list will probably be ever-changing. The top advice about top lists I can give is to throw them away, throw this one away as well, for the only way it could be true is if there was at least one list for every person on the planet, and that list would only be true in that single moment. Don’t let the top list somebody else wrote blind and rob you of the infinity life offers. Open your eyes. Discover your own.

Throw away and forget after reading.

Rain brings the night

Termalito, Colombian Andes

I finish cooking the soup on Doña Gloriás’ fire stove and sit on the only chair there is, the first one I’ve seen in seven days, with the chickens on the opposite side of the table, on the table. I add some fresh cheese to my meal. Reading while the soup cools down I first hear and then see the downpour on the forest, then it stops and the clouds come down dressed as fog and inadvertently smooth the transition from day into night.

I put down Steinbeck and raise my eyes to see the heavens have come down and the stars, now mobile, make new twinkling constellations each passing second, fireflies, fireflies like I’ve never seen before. I can see this because I read using the red light of my headlamp, saving batteries and not blinding myself to my surroundings. I come back up to camp and see the field spangled with tents, lights moving around inside, different colored tents, yellow and grey, unsuccesful bonfires litter the site, they set plastics over the tents.

Now that the rain has stopped, music comes from one side and laughter from the “hot” springs in which I got too cold in the afternoon. These are not the nature loving mountain campers I was with a couple of nights ago in the high mountain “paramo,” these, are true gypsies…

My tent marks the edge of camp. Past it the dense jungle presses up against the massive vertical rock face, almost scaling it, as if wanting to get closer to its life-source, which starts at the very top as a waterfall and then turns into mist as it plunges into the abyss.

I eat a chocolate and slap the sticker that comes with it onto the thermos, the common owl. The rain comes back, or better-said, new rain falls, and I gladly withdraw into my wild peppermint scented tent. Good night

Early morning

Outskirts of Salento, Colombia

I awake to the grumblings of the coffeemaker coming from the small kitchen. It’s cold and still pretty dark. I sit on the edge of the bed and as I pull on my sweater, remember that I’m working in the fields now, in exchange for a bed in which I must sleep diagonally and still my feet dangle off the side and end of it.

But it’s not for the bed that I’m here. I’m here because I want a taste of this life so different from what I’m used to, or used to be used to, I don’t even know anymore.

I get to the kitchen and Alejo the artisan is frying some eggs with arepas on the side. I salt it and eat standing up.  I step outside into the crisp mountain air to enjoy my coffee as I look at the mountains in the distance.

Wheelbarrow and shovel in front of me I go out into the misty fields. I remove the thick electric wire that keeps the cattle in or out, close it behind me and check to see if there’s any dung close by. I can see the dew on the blades of grass and the insects taking to flight as they greet the day, unknowing of the flycatcher that sits up on a fencepost, casually glancing over his flying breakfast menu.

It is not long before I see a break in the grass horizon. I head towards it and find a great fresh pie. I carefully clear the grass around it, using the back of the shovel like Alejo showed me. I want to get this one clean. Placing the shovel in front of it, I gently press down the grass to get under and slide in to get it in one quick motion. No breaks or cracks in it, now it’s riding shovel and the yellowing grass underneath it is revealed. And it looks thankful. I take a fraction of a second to admire its wholeness and then toss it in the wheelbarrow. I lift my gaze and lumber on, dragging everything behind me.

Gold   

“It has secret chambers, you might still get something,
but you need go long and the fire must enter all the way in,
tickle its belly and the gold is bound come out…”