When I set out to write about this past year’s travels, I started with the “Beginning.” By that I mean my scattered brain drifted all the way back to the very beginning of “Family,” the 1800s, when my Ancestors immigrated to this country in search of “FindingHome.”
A search we all make, but perhaps not covering so many miles. And perhaps not finding that destination.
The Sunrise gave birth to a new day bathing this Montane Forest with evolving hues of Grandfather Sun’s spectral rays. A color wheel changing by the second from deep saffron orange, to amaranth and cadmium red, to pantone and golden yellow, to its final ivory white.
As I stretch my body, I fix my gaze on the horizon and slowly turn in an arc. I find myself surrounded by Engelmann Spruce, Utah Juniper, Douglas-fir, and Quaking Aspen. My sleeping bag is laid out in a thick bed of soft needles from a massive Ponderosa Pine that looms above me.
Oh, what this Standing Person may have witnessed in its thousand years. What wisdom imparted.
One version of this Legend tells us about how a dying Shaman, and leader of his Tribe, instructed the Tribe to seek out their new “Dream.” “Dream,” as used here, refers to the Tribe’s collective idea, or “Tonal,” or image of what their “Home” and “Society” constituted.
A number of my posts have focused on travel and the literal, “Finding Home,”and this is no different.
When I wrote my series on Boquillas, I mentioned that while writing it I went down several “Rabbit Holes” as I did my background research. The root of this expression, of course, traces back to the book “Alice in Wonderland,” where Alice follows the White Rabbit down his hole and into Wonderland.*
And one can certainly argue about whether “Wonderland” is the appropriate name for that subterranean realm because Alice’s adventures there don’t seem to be all that marvelous and delightful.
But that’s another Rabbit Hole that I’ll dodge for the moment.
So here we are, down one of the many side tunnels I ran down when exploring Southern Texas and Northern Mexico. This one is about an Ancient Legend and an Ancient Pterosaur.
How did I get here? And how do these two things overlap?
Castaneda writes about our being able to perceive the Auras, or the “Cocoon” of energy around people (luminous beings or light beings) and that you are able to tell if an individual’s Tonal is good. And having a good Tonal is a prerequisite to developing yourself as a Nagual.
One day, the Brujo “sees” a person with a good Tonal sitting in the town square where they are visiting. And he requires, as part of Castaneda’s training, for him to introduce himself to this person and to offer assistance with any task that this person needs to perform. Castaneda complies and he assists the woman in a somewhat strained manner.
I forget now, what it was he helped her with, but that is irrelevant to my tale.
. . . Much to my amazement, he began, literally, climbing the shelves in this tiny but high-ceilinged shop, in pursuit of the golden liquid of which I wished to partake . . .
Right off the bat, I must tell you that my title is not referring to the Walt Disney movie Fantasia that included Micky Mouse as the reckless “Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” Nor does it refer to the 1797 poem, “Der Zauberlehrling,” written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe upon which Disney borrowed for its 1940 film. A film that that became re-energized among the psychedelic counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s, where everybody was dropping a hit of acid, or two, and going to see Mickey Mouse trying to control a bunch of angry brooms carrying buckets of water.
No, I’m talking about actually meeting a real Sorcerer and his apprentice. And yes, this is yet another rabbit hole I’m going down after yesterday’s Rabbit Hole post. It happened at the same time as that story when I was in Mexico for that “agricultural exchange,“ and, with this writing, you could say that I’m still stumbling about in that “Warren.“
Note: Since this is a continuation of the first and second post in this series (“Wondrous Souls,” & “Wondrous Souls – Dyad”) I’ve begun with the last few lines of the second post to kick this one off. To try to keep you in the rhythm of the story without you having to refer back to the previous post.
It was truly a trading of energies, and we painted images in each other’s minds with the words we spoke. And I believe revealed our Souls. Our true essence.
That has a lasting effect on you. And it certainly has with me. It gives you hope for all of humanity.
One thing she told me about being on those long trails, like the PCT, the Continental Divide Trail and the Appalachian Trail – known as the Big Three – you never have to explain yourself.
Everyone on those trails has an innate understanding of the ardor of the Soul being activated there.
IntroNote: I figured after my last post, which was critical of certain human behaviors, that it would good to balance that out and write a piece focusing on the good you encounter when meeting certain Souls. 🙂
It’s hard for me to imagine that sixty plus years have flown by. Day-by-day, we march on. At first enjoying the freedom that comes with having parents watching over us. Our only responsibility being to grow, explore, and learn. Then we leave the nest and become involved in whatever, hoping to return to that freedom someday. Somehow. Recapture that innocence. Where our Souls are not bound. Not tethered to material demands.
When I began writing this series, I had no idea the words would just keep on flowing beyond a single post. But, hey, that’s OK. I’ve enjoyed the writing, and we finally made it to that point in the story where I get to talk about my favorite little town along the “Grand and Turbid River to the North.” A town I actually never set foot in.
It was, as you may guess from the titles, Boquillas del Carmen otherwise known as Boquillas !!!
Now, there are a number of areas in the States that are “Big Sky Country.” And Big Bend is one of those places.* Where the horizons stretch on forever. A vast expanse. It’s difficult to tell where the Earth ends and the Sky begins.
It is a mirage within a mirage.
The only thing offering a tethering to the ground in Big Bend are the Chisos Mountains. They break the joint between skyline and chaparral and provide definition. They restore the sense of gravity that would otherwise vanish completely.
In these places we get that duality of striking beauty mixed with the desolate and dangerous. It’s enchanting and alluring here, but there is deception because if you’re not careful you could easily die from the elements.
I was climbing higher, but my body still seemed reasonably acclimated. For the past four months I had hiked in elevations ranging from being on the beaches of the Pacific Ocean up to 9000 feet above sea level. My breathing was slightly taxed, but the air was cooling and becoming soothing, almost methylating, as I lumbered higher through the perfumes of Rose-Fruited Junipers, Honey Mesquites, Scrub Oak, Piñon Pine, Texas Madrone, and Manzanitas. Their redolence encircling the trail as I approached 6850 feet, a 1200-foot elevation gain from where the trailhead began.
The desert floor beneath me stretches to eternity. You can easily see 100 miles or more across the horizon in all directions from the top of the Lost Mine Trail in the Chisos Mountains. The innumerable red, orange, brown, and lavender hues paint the mountainous landscape.
A watercolor wonderland.
Sky Islands floating above what seems like a completely barren reddish-yellow-beige terrain. But that view of what’s beneath is as deceiving as this mountain range is enchanting.
Regardless if this cordillera derived its name from the Native American word “Chisos,” meaning “ghost” or “spirit,” or if “Chisos” came from the Castilian “hechizos,” meaning “enchantment,” you’ll feel an enduring presence in these mountains. The Ancestors are still here in this once favored stronghold of the Mescalero, Apache, and the Comanche. Sharing space and time with the Black Bears, Roadrunners, Javelinas, Ravens, Mule Deer, Mountain Lions, Hawks and Vultures, Coyotes, Horned and Earless Lizards, Rattlesnakes, and Tarantulas.
“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.”
A while back, I posted a couple of blogs where I talked about hiking, contrasted the differences between “hiking” and “walking,” and dissected the purpose of hiking; whether it be for camping or exploring some aspect of Nature in particular, or to just connect two dots on the map. And I also discussed the use of mantras for calling cadence, which can have miraculous effects on extending our endurance and the distance we can cover.
Our minds can overcome things our bodies cannot. And vice versa, our bodies can overcome things our minds cannot. Harmonizing both mind and body can make the difference between having a wonderful hiking adventure or facing a life versus death scenario.