Love sneaks up....
29 March 2012
[Ed: Zia wraps up her thoughts on Chile]
There is something about Chile, but I have trouble saying quite what. It feels wild still. It is wild still, earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, landslides and erupting volcanos are common. It looks wild here in the region of the rivers with it's abundant waters and vegetation. Not wild in the grand majestic sense of the Colorado mountains, but wild in an abundant lush verdant life that is held tentatively at bay by the humans who live here. If humans disappeared, I wonder just how long it would take for the land to pull up the covers with a living green blanket? When we go farther south will we meet the rugged grandeur? We have already seen Volcano Villarica which has, when glimpsed, literally taken my breathe away. It's stunningly pristine white tip points up into the blue sky sometimes with visible evidence of it's own breathing. It lives to the east of here and is a solitary giant. It is easy for me to fall into the present moment here. Maybe because there is nothing to do. I sit out in the sunshine feeling it's warmth on my body. I sit and listen to all the chirps, trills and whistles made by the many kinds of birds who live here. The black-faced ibises, called bandurrias, resumed their loud insistent squawking after a few weeks of mostly silence. And also I hear traffic go by on the highway and the distant buzz of a chainsaw. These machine made noises do not intrude on my peacefulness. Perhaps they are muffled by the thick vegetation. Perhaps I am especially calm after meditating even though I thought I stayed on the surface and didn't go very deep. Many people here in Chile I've only seen once or twice like the women of the tostaduria who delight in my delight when they give me a tasty sample, and in my playing with Jeff by giving him the heaviest bags to carry while I take a light little one. We share a big hearty laugh at that! Or Guillermo of the food co-op with his old school punk music blaring and his concern for the environment obvious. Or the delightful man who owns AlterFluss and who speaks English while telling about his life when he worked in Los Estados Unidos and while describing his incredible selection of chocolates. And who also delights in my delight at the incredible samples he offers freely. This afternoon I am sitting on Hekla's aft deck. She is at the dock with Roni and a few workers continuing to finish her. There are some electrical work, some cabinets, and wood trim to be completed. It's cooler down here on the water than upland, but the sky is still blue with wispy cirrus clouds scattered about. Someone turned on the engines. They rumble, shake a little and splash out coolant water every couple of seconds. And waft the lovely diesel fumes about, much to my disgust. I move up wind to the forward cockpit. I am thinking about the people of Chile. I am thinking about love. Love for a place, love for a language, love for a tree, a love for a people or a particular person. I am thinking of how many shapes and forms love can take, and how easily it can sneak up on you. Jessica, a lovely, cheery, sweet, and curious woman, has befriended me. Perhaps she took offense with my terrible Spanish pronunciation. Pronoonca-cion! She offered to help me practicar. She has come over a couple of evenings after working all day cleaning caba¬-as to gently correct my speaking of her native language. We have had a few laughs especially over the paragraphs Denise had me write in Spanish, in particular the part about on the boat I will cook and clean and Jeff will rest and write a book! Also we got a laugh over the time I made my bed neatly and carefully as a surprise for her and she showed me the sheets. It was changing sheets day! She wants to see our boat when it is ready. She saw Nancy painting on hatch covers for weeks and it's the only thing I can talk about with her easily. Of course I said, "sure!". Today Jessica brought me a pair of earrings for my birthday, so now little silver bell shaped flowers dangle from my ears. Marcia, Alex's secretary and the person who gets everything done at Alwoplast, gave me a bunch of fragrant and colorful roses yesterday right before she left for the weekend. I had been sticking my nose into the ones she had on her desk inhaling deeply every time I went by. I had joked with her that, " there will be no rosas on the ocean, only stinky seaweed and fishy smells". I managed to say that in very broken Spanish with only a little help from her. In any case, we both had a good laugh about it! So of course I was touched and left without adequate words to express my gratitude by her thoughtfulness. And Denise, whose patience is astounding considering the slowness of my old lady brain. Her patience is such a gift to me. She gave me an apron for my birthday. This too touched me leaving me unable to say a proper thank you. Her birthday is on the same day as Kati's, November 24. A Sagittarius, no wonder she is fluent in three languages that I know of; Spanish, German and English. She also meditates and is interested in Buddhism among other wisdoms. She is a fan of Tict Nan Han. Has the book, Autobiography of a Yogi and had me read a passage in Spanish out of a Deepok Chopra book, all of which means we are kindred spirits even if we do not share a facility for languages. Roni and Alex are kind and helpful, and I feel with Jackie, Alex's wife, a connection even though we have exchanged few words. She is a high level Reiki master having learned four lineages to the highest level. She works her Reiki in the regional hospital alongside the doctors and devotes one day a week to providing Reiki for people pro bono. I have learned Reiki to Level 2, but so far have only practiced the first level. We had dinner at Jackie and Alex's home last night. They have lovely home on the other side of the river with beautiful grounds, statues of Buddha grace the inside and outside of their home. Isadora, their daughter, 13, showed me around outside. She knew the names of most of the plants, and told me of ones that you can put on a wound, or ones to eat, including a sour leafed perennial that tasted like vinegar. I sipped the nectar of some flowers she assured me were dulce. Indeed they were. I surprised her by wholeheartedly eating a few edible dianthus and sage blossoms! She is learning English in school, and I must say she is much better in English than I am in Spanish. She was patient, kind, and clever in finding visual ways to communicate, for instance she made a dragonfly for me out of blades of grass. When we saw the sunset turning the sky red, she told me in Spanish, red at night sailor's delight, red in the morning sailors take warning. After dinner, we went outsid e again to look at the stars. The moon was nearly half and it was still early so we only saw a few. She told me the Southern Cross would make it's appearance later in the night. I have seen it before, but still I am looking forward to seeing it again from the deck of Hekla. New friends, Rodrigo and Barbara welcomed us and warmed our last days in Valdivia. They invited us for dinner and for a BBQ at their home. Barbara made us a luscious desert of cherimoya, whipped cream and manjar. Denise surprised me with some Spanish past tense lessons, dropped off by her son the night before we left on our sailing adventure. How can I keep these people in my heart and sail away? We are sailing away from Valdivia now, and all these people. We are some where in the Pacific. Some where where only sea and sky are visible. The sun is winking off our port side, orange between layers of blue gray clouds. Ahead of Hekla the sky is softly baby blue with pink tinged cotton ball clouds. Today the day says goodbye sweetly. I envy it's grace. I wish I could say goodbye sweetly and rise again cheerful the next morning. My heart is heavy. I didn't have a chance to see Denise and say a longer goodbye. I barely had a chance to say a goodbye to the others, our return time in Valdivia short and full of things to do. Jackie came on board the morning we left. She did an energetic clearing and blessed us and Hekla with a safe passage. No meaningful words flowed to my mouth, no well wishes or hopes for her and Alex, Isi and Alwoplast, and all the people I've come to know in Valdivia, but indeed in that place of no words, in that infinite silence, all that was, and is there. All the love is there, what more can I say?