San Agustin

Stars shine like pearls in a black sea over the mountains of San Agustin. The night air refreshes the senses after long hours of the the sun drenched day. Birds quiet their singing and are replaced by an orchestra of crickets and frogs. The moon illuminates the white clouds that drift overhead washing out bits of the glittering darkness. Sleep is easy...

Cool morning light wakes you and gives you a crisp kiss as you are lulled back to sleep by the rustling of feathers and sweet banter of tiny birds. Everything is alive by the time the suns rays just begin to heat up the day. A distant hammering of nails, the call of roosters, the barks of dogs, the buzz of insects, the whine of a moto and a faint murmur of bambuco music can be heard from all sides yet it is serenely quiet. The plants seem to absorb the clatter, producing an oxygenated silence. The colors are radiant; concentrated, and shadows dance to the rhythm of the wind.

The clouds have been magnificent and I am happy. This simple existence makes me feel light. Things seem to be in sharper focus- I see more details, absorbing colors and shapes and adding them to the artists palate in my mind that paints this scenery when I close my eyes. I walk in a state of awe, floating between the many layers of blue and green.

Life is easy here and the people are genuine. They live each day knowing that they have found one of the best places on earth, and they are thankful. Their land gives them everything they need, just as it always has. An ancesteral spirit lives in every heart and they heed the insight of their elders. They are strong, hardworking people- the men thin lipped with tight, lean muscles and the women are soft with kind eyes and cinnamon skin.

Oranges and mandarins are in full bloom, smells of citrus and coffee fill the air and on Tuesdays the aroma of freshly baked breads wafts from the kitchen of every abuelita in town. Grandmothers from nearby villages walk two hours carrying huge sacks of platanos and other vegetables to sell, returning at the end of the day hauling fresh laundry home. There is a pride and vigor for life in the eyes of these people as they continue to protect the legacy and spirit of these lands, trying to preserve the stories and artifacts left here by a civilization long ago.

...And so the days go in San Agustin, trapped in a little corner of paradise between Amazon and Andes.

amigos, amor y PachaMama para siempre-- j