I sit with my feet dangling over the edge of the world. It's a crazy feeling looking down upon what the world might have been had the Incas prevailed. My body is full of mariposas. I feel rooted here on this rock wall, but my brain screams to get away from the ledge. I breathe deep and together we sing to the ancient sky, calming the mind and regaining control over the natural fear that threatens to rise as I look down into the valley far below. There is a pressure in my chest, it's the air eminating from this place. It's in the grasses, ferns, orchids, trees- every leaf and blade and petal permeate a soft energy into the oxygen they release; caressing you, filling your lungs with love and a desire to live. This energy is our lifeblood. But there is a denser energy that is pressing into me, trying to saturate me; it's coming from the mountains, massive cones and cubes of granite. Their enormity is humbling.
The tiny tourists below are reduced to an unproductive group of worker ants, much weaker that the warriors that used to roam this land. We are nothing against the power of the moutain, guardian of the Sacred Valley. Gentle savages made wilder by the jungle that covers them, hiding the secrets of the past and destiny of the future. Encircled by these beasts, their om penetrates every pore of my body, illuminating my heart, revealing its great capacity for love and perseverance in struggle. And slithering its way through the roots of it all is the river Urubamba; roaring with a prana that is the passion and endurance that sustains us all. From so far away its intensity is calming, though one must remain conscious that there is always danger at the edge of passion, there is risk that it will boil over, biting back at the land that tries to restrict it. But ¨life itself is risk¨ and without passion higher life does not exist.
The wind blows, bringing me back to the present, to the realization of a dream that I´ve had since middle school Spanish class. It feels amazing to have come this far, and even more amazing to know how much more lies ahead. I will always remember this feeling, I will carry it with me for the rest of my days, and will share it with those I love, passing it down to my children and their children, and the generations that come after I am gone. Although this is not my land, it is a part of me now and will live forever in my heart as a place of magic and wonder. I close my eyes and am transported back to simpler times; times when man knew his place in the world, times when life centered around nature, knowing that our fate is in her hands. Images of ancient figures walk across my vision, going about their daily tasks; farming, building, cooking, healing, all in the name of the Pachamama. In this place I feel connected to these people, to this culture that was once so foreign to me.
I open my eyes and feel incredibly lucky to have tasted a bit of this splendor, to know where we have come from and to hope that one day we might return again to this consciousness, standing humbled at the center of it all, the belly button of the universe.