Living way out here in the jungle (have I mentioned this before that we live way out? Probably…) has a very profound impact on a person’s connection with their self, especially when interaction with other folks is limited. Our nearest neighbor as the parrot flies is about 2 kilometers away, but if you were to ride there (no vehicle access) it would take an hour or so. The nearest neighbor by horse is at least forty-five minutes away, and the nearest neighbor by truck is about fifteen minutes away. We are surrounded by rolling hills that are steep and rugged terrain to get around in, lots of rivers and water drainages and very steep hills that ascend vertically very quickly, solid jungle, impenetrable and wild. Much of the jungle on the hills that surround this valley – from our viewpoint on this eastern slope – has been cleared to plant pasture for cattle, as this is a very predominant way to make a living here, unfortunately. The jungle habitat that once covered these hills is changing at an alarming rate here, and as most humans are aware this very same thing has destroyed many regions of the earth already, especially in South America. We are witnessing it here in this valley, as well, right in front of us. Of course this has been going on for a while and there are areas that we see where the erosion is completely deforming the land, cattle can be HORRIBLE for the earth, especially where it is wet and steep. The people in this valley that own cattle are ‘wealthy’, whereas for most people that do not own the land making a living is extremely difficult. So those that own land are cutting the jungle down and putting cattle on newly created pastures to survive our own economic crash here in the jungle, in this country. Further demise of what remains of the precious and pristine wilderness that yet exists on Earth.
I’ll get off the soapbox now and return to this sanctuary that we are now living on. This large chunk of jungle here on this eastern slope, within which we now reside, was logged and chopped many years ago for cattle, but when the jungle was chopped the water started to dry up and so the people that lived here had to leave to survive (does history repeat itself? We shall see). The man that currently owns the property that we live on
has allowed the jungle to return, but of course it is not even close to what it was in its old growth and original state, but there is a giant Ceiba tree that lives here that is a monarch memorial to what ‘was’. It is so big and so old and so very ancient and stately – wow! I am duly impressed, and very thankful that it is still there. (I don’t have a picture of it but I enclose this picture of another Ceiba that resides some distance from us.) A local restoration project that is going on in our region of this country is called ‘The Path of the Tapir’, and it is reconnecting jungle to jungle so that the animals that originally lived here may dwell here in freedom once again. We are blessed to be living here in part of this ‘Path’, living where there is no surrounding chatter (save for that of the jungle, which is incessant in itself) and distractions that are considered ‘normal’ in most people’s realities, we are allowed to experience the peace and harmony (usually, but then ‘normal’ isn’t normal anymore!) of this area. Of course there are always the exceptions, for example the past few days and right now – all morning, in fact – the hounds are running, real close, tracking the wild pigs that live out here with us. And of course my dogs have to speak their piece in this entire ‘racket’. Despite this, the essence of being so completely in touch with the Mother is profoundly transformational, this I feel and know as an absolute, if only speaking for myself. We are soon to leave this wondrous mountain, and I believe that our next ‘campo’ – wherever that may be – will equally be as rewarding, even if not in the very same ways.
The other day I walked down the road, a leisurely walk with attention turned on, to my horses – with the hope that they would be within range to catch. I brought a bag of bananas and carrots as the bait, but I also had my eyes open for whatever fruits may be available along the road. The guavas are ripening and some have fallen, and horses love guavas, and mangos and bananas and most fruits, actually. As I waltzed on down the road every now and then I would catch the incredible scent of a flower, wafting under my nose as in the old cartoons of yesteryear. Sometimes I could find the source, often not. A blue morph butterfly floated by in front of me, sharing with me a brief but powerful reminder that all is well. As I continued my walk I caught a different luxurious aroma that stopped me…as I searched for the source I could hear this buzzing, droning sound – and it was getting louder. Let’s suffice it to say that it was absolutely time to get a move on and leave THAT space alone! It sounded like an entire hive of bees was honing in on ME and NO THANK YOU for that encounter! Fortunately they did not follow. I continued on enjoying the different smells and the beautiful flowers in their glory of late summer here, recently refreshed by the rains. A bird flew by right in front of me in glorious colors, it landed just off the side of the road joining another of its kind in a tree and they both sat and watched me. I had to stop and talk for a moment, wishing for a camera (no phone with camera, sigh), as I marveled at their loud jungle colors – they were Fiery Billed Aricaris,
a relative of the toucan, with their long bills and bright colored bodies. We visited for a moment before I continued my stroll along this always captivating jungle lane. As I walked along another blue morph floated along with me for a while, and then as I approached the property gate yet another morph crossed my path – awesome!
The horses were not far, fortunately, I hiked down the pasture hill as needed and waved my bananas and they were mine now, caught. I hopped on and we headed back to the house, where I spent the rest of the morning tending to the body care needs of these angels in horse bodies.
The ticks are horrible right now, and it was a major effort to dispose of the colonies that were trying hard to get established in certain areas, i.e. under the tails and in the ears. Kinto has a shaved mane and forelock as he is a magnet for ticks, but Ono/Juan doesn’t attract them in his mane as badly, however tails and ears are targets on both. The dogs have been attacked, as well, so it has been my vigil to work on eliminating these nasty arachnids from the body hosts of my family. For all of its wonders and beauties, the jungle also has its adversaries for the critters that live within her. The leaf-cutter ants never give up foraging for some yummy garden plants, the spiders are always setting up another condo in some corner, the wasps seeking new territory, and so on – always the jungle continues to expand and unfold, and multiply, in some way or other.
The horses are now trimmed and cleaned up with some essential oils applied to prevent (at least somewhat) further infestation, and it’s time to head back to the pasture, which we do at a fast and fun clip all the way there. Oh, the rush of adrenaline to ride at a lope bareback! Mate picked me up at the gate and we headed to the village for some refreshments for the weekend. On our way down the hill the neighbor’s horse, the one that Mate would like to call his own someday, was standing by the fence and his left eye was swollen shut. Wow, what happened to you my friend? We stopped at the house to inform the neighbor, but there was no one there, only the hounds. As we continued on down the hill we saw one of the brother’s (the neighbors) on his horse heading to town, we stopped and told him about the horse’s eye. We also visited with this man in town, but he was not returning to his home soon, he had further to go…what would happen with the horse? Do they even have the tools needed to tend such things? These are things we do not know about life here – what would they do in this situation, we are still applying knowledge gained from years and years of owning/raising lots of horses and dogs, but applying it in a very new world and environment. (Note to self: put together a better vet kit!) As we returned up the hill, the other brother was still not at his home, so we headed up the hill and the horse was still at the fence, his eye was worse in swelling. We stopped, the horse walked up the fence in our direction so I got out to see what I could do. I do not personally know this horse, but he was asking for help sure as the monkeys howl at dawn. I walked right up to him and he put his head in my arms. I did my best to check his eye, but he had it winced shut pretty tight. My intuition said that he had either been poked with something, or most likely stung in or around the eye by one of our aggressive bees or wasps, or whatever. I had nothing to treat it with except for my own desire to help with loving healing energy, which I gave freely. He welcomed every bit of it. I loved him and rubbed him a little bit, and focused on energy flow to aid his wounded eye, it was what I had available to give. Then it was time to go and he licked my hand, and kept licking my hand, as I had this most amazing feeling of warmth and love come over me – it was a very profound and healing connection for us both. I hope to find out soon how he is doing.
It is the awareness and the honing of this connection that has been my present, the gift of the jungle to me, since I have lived here. Many lessons in gardening in the jungle, to be sure! Learning to live in the Land of Make-Do, with its many facets and applications. In a world where those things that we are accustomed to having at our disposal are not available (like an antibiotic eye ointment to apply would be first on that list, however: not), what do you do? These moments are when I appreciate and utilize what I have studied: by practicing the art of tuning in, listening, paying attention to whatever guidance is available, learning to connect with the situation at hand and trusting. These are skills that have been honed finely here in this world of ‘far, far away’ with little to no distractions, as I connect with Me. The opportunity to live here like this has truly been a blessing in many ways, many yet to be learned and known. For certain it will continue on, no matter where we live.
I have much gratitude for my experiences and lessons while being here in this neck of the jungle, while working so hard to build our greenhouses and plant this garden the first eight months, to the past three months of pulling back and disengaging ourselves from ‘working’ this land (as we are leaving) while going within and preparing for what is yet to come. With all of this Aries energy, the Sun, Moon, Mars and Venus, Uranus…all lending their energetic imprints to my feelings and needs to BE CREATIVE, a desire to invite something new and exciting into my life is at an all-time high. Yes, that door of opportunity is opening, has been for quite a while…intriguing and yet elusive…I have confidence that all of this inner work has prepared me/us for what is just out of reach. The journey of living here has been, and still is, quite magical and rewarding, every day; the journey ahead surely will be just as educational and challenging as well as another evolutionary step in ‘becoming’ – no matter what the details, and the anticipation of it is exciting even though it is taking its sweet ‘time’ manifesting.
It’s all good, it’s all in order. I so love this world! Muchas gracias, muchos bendiciones.
Oh by the way, the horse amigo is doing just fine, his eye is looking good.