Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wild Things

At the moment I am sitting in a very pleasant internet cafe on Playa del Sol in Puerto Vallarta, with plenty of time to update everyone. Erik is on a solitary adventure; he's been spending a lot of time drawing out ideas for all kinds of new architecture and creations for all the structures at the Treehouse so he is currently researching what kinds of building products Puerto Vallarta has to offer. Although we will not be able to even begin real projects on this trip, he is intent on preparing properly. After writing out long (long) lists of Things We'll Need, he wants to make sure that he knows what's already here so that we don't buy too much in the states and travel for miles with unnecessary extra weight.

That's right amigos! We are already planning for another trip to Yelapa. Tentatively planned of course, but we'd very much love to drive to Burning Man late August, and then drive straight down to Puerto Vallarta directly after... until March. Is it possible? Time will tell.

Erik's Aunt Claire and her partner Mary are in Yelapa! We've spent some time with them and the family they are traveling with which include Mark and Linda and their children Leena and Eli, who are outrageously clever and charming and delightful, which makes me miss Corrin and Saunder and Brahm and Maggie just so much more. :)

A couple days ago they trekked up to the Treehouse with a couple horses for the kids, and we all enjoyed a wonderful lunch, in which they named my tuna fish quesadillas 'Laura-dillas', which caused me to feel pretty good about myself because it meant they liked my food! We tied up the horses and went on an adventure upriver some-more, where we swam at The Waterfall. It was a brilliant series of moments, and a truly splendid group of people to be with.

Erik and I quickly hiked back to the Treehouse and grabbed the horses to bring them to the main trail and make it easier on everyone. Luckily, the horses permissed us to ride upon their backs for some of the trail, in which I felt exquisitely happy. Sun shining bright on our faces, azure sky, tropical jungle surroundings and sweet, gentle, horses emitting something royal or regal out to the hills. Corrin, I was a princess that day, and I thought about ya.

I am feeling somewhat disoriented today, to keep-it-real. What is Culture Shock really, when it's not necessarily Culture that shocks the psyche? It is not Yelapa that leaves me feeling like I've landed on Mars. It tends to be trips to Vallarta.. It's great here! But the hustle and bustle and imposing sounds of a city are quite different from the serenity of being at the beach in Yelapa, let alone the Treehouse, where bird songs dominate and the consistent stream sounds of the river maintain a sublime state of mind and heart.

So here, inside a cafe with loud Beyonce Knowles songs (and really I love that woman's voice) among the cumulative conversations, and maybe yes, Erik's absence, I feel slightly disrupted inside. I cannot help but deeply love our days at Erik's ranch upriver and the way it has resolved my mental noise. There are places and spots and specific trails, even beyond the waterfalls and beauty, where something clicks inside and you know you've stepped foot onto sacred ground. And spending days in that kind of gratitude, beaming at the crystal clear cosmos, I have surrendered to it. I am like a kitty on its back, purring wildly and trusting truly.

It was a couple weeks ago when I built my first fire (EVER). And I have built many since! There's another shortcut to zen: learn what fire needs and how you can serve each other best.

A typical day at the Treehouse begins at the first signs of dawn when we wake. The first task is to locate firewood in the chilly forest. Then, we build a fire and boil a pot of water for coffee/tea/drinking water. After a hot breakfast, we swim in the river, and dress for the day. At this point usually the sun is blasting onto the high cliff house, and will slowly make its way down to the river bank as the sun rises from above the hill.

There's plenty to do, but we have all day to employ ourselves when it feels right. Plenty of leisurely time is spent reading in the hammock, and I have already read more than I thought was possible in three weeks. All the books I have finished so far are The Education of Little Tree, Harvest for Hope by Jane Goodall, The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk, and The Shack, and I am now working on finishing the Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton, Women Who Run With Wolves by Clarissa Estes, and the Tao of Pooh.

I recommend The Fifth Sacred Thing!! Especially for Baylee and Colleen. You both would appreciate the idealistic Utopian society and its Wiccan and magickal qualities and possibilities.

Almost every day we also walk 8+ miles. This is one of my favorite things to do during the day! The beauty of the path to the village and the beach is outrageous, and there's always friendly people to greet us '¡Buenos Dias!' and '¡Buenos Tardes!' Why don't I enjoy the path so much at night? Ohhh amigos how the jungle comes alive at night... One night on the walk home from a lovely day at the village, we almost kicked a huge toad that was attempting, with all its might, to swallow a scorpion. We watched in fascination as the toad flinched as the scorpion stung it repeatedly, but '¡Noooo hombre!' the toad seemed to say, 'You're mine!' as it held the beast deep inside its throat.

Almost five minutes later, another scorpion crossed the path in front of my feet. Erik said 'You were thinking about scorpions, weren't you?' and I had to admit, yes, I probably attracted that scorpion right to my feet ReSet amigos. For the next three miles I silently chanted 'I attract positive and pleasurable creatures and experiences,' a mantra I created at the beginning of the trip to keep the things-that-bite-or-sting at bay. Sure enough, I only saw the kaleidoscope of spider eyes glimmering like estrellas, stars, among the brush that surround the path. But they just stood, on their 8 legs, watching the strange giant gringos as they passed.

The dense trails of cutter ants that cross the path in about 6 different places are only bothersome if you sense one or two may have accidentally slipped into your sandal. Really though, my fascination for their superior strength in carrying pieces of wood and leaves just really makes me bow down in respect. 'Buenos noches' I whisper sincerely in their general direction.

When it gets dark, Erik and I will usually light all our candles on the beach of the river and enjoy dinner or hot chocolate under the stars, talking about hopes and dreams. About an hour or two after it gets dark, it feels so good to climb into bed and fall asleep as fast as shooting stars. Insomnia? What's that? Not here. And it's quite loud at night here. Loud in a moving-river-cricket-croaking-electric-bug sounding way. It is blessed and it is soothing.

And when we wake we never know how much sleep we actually got. This is my favorite part, I'm realizing. Because here I must measure how rested I am by how I feel, and without knowing the exact number of hours, it's really very easy to just feel damn good.

Can I just tell you about Henry now? Henry is our resident Garrobo. Basically, a garrobo is a more aggressive iguana that tends to be slightly smaller (SLIGHTLY) and mostly black and yellow versus the colorful rainbow that our dear and tender and tame iguanas dote. I met him up at the cliffhouse during my first week at the Treehouse. He was just hanging out, looking at the view over the cliff, watching birds and stuff. My presence irritated him, I could tell because he just watched me with those reptilian eyes that say 'Don't think for one second I have feelings. Dang you're sure weird lookin'. I'm just gonna check you out some.' And he did that, just watched me intently and slowly, achingly, climbed sideways down the cliff and into the safety of a tree.

And I blessed him with the name Henry, because well, my friend Beth had a very pretty fish she named Henry and he died several days later. Her next fish was Mervin. And after Mervin died she kept naming her fish those kinds of names no one names their boys anymore.

Anthropomorphizing the garrobo has been extremely enjoyable. Henry visits regularly, and we discovered yesterday that he lives right in the enormous rock that serves as the cliff's back wall. I saw him slip into a slender crevice, and I squeaked 'Bye Henry!' very very sincerely. Which made me realize just how much I miss cats like Seth and Orangie. And all cats that purr and rub their heads and palms and talk back prolifically.

Last night I'm pretty sure I heard Henry come out and walk around. Erik thought it was a mouse but I'm convinced he really just missed us.

I'll show you guys vids of this goodness when I return.

Laura Lee Lolly LouLouBelle Laelu land

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