by Ernie McCray
I love getting out into the world and I’m particularly fond of spending time in Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, Mexico with Maria, mi querida.
That little seaport town and its surroundings compose a world of beaches and bays and mountains and lush jungles and mahogany colored peoples – and kick-ass mosquitos who seem to savor the taste of tall old black men.
This part of the world, as I learn more about it, gives rise to my spiritual nature, granting me a sense of what it must have been like for the Tarascan, Aztec, Toltec, Olmec and Maya peoples who walked this world many yesterdays ago.
In La Chole, just a few miles away from Casa Contenta, our place in Zihua, I looked upon two ancient structures, a pyramid made of bricks and an arena wherein games were played where the victors were killed and the losers enslaved – making winning for these people a welcoming entry to the next sphere one might say.
Images of another time rose in my mind as we made our way along grounds that were around before “The Americas” was a gleam in anybody’s eyes.
I was asked to rub two rocks together and then slowly move them apart and in doing so I could feel the energy of the cosmos moving through me as the rocks sought to be together again.
From that experience I sensed the harmony that indigenous people have with their world. I felt I was in a place that was faraway from my everyday world with its talk of drones or some ball player being steroid-ed to his bones, a mayor treating women as
though they were objects to be owned – without their panties on…
We flew to Mexico City and took a bus to Cuernavaca and a friend drove us to Tepoztlan. I will always remember the moment I stepped out of the car in the mountains there.
When I set my foot on the ground, although I had been wowed on the drive, I was treated to a vision that a photograph or a drawing or poetry or prose could never accurately expose. Generally it was a world of green. Fields of green. Paths of green. Little canyons of green. Hills of green. All in a mountain of green with clouds covering what had been, moments before, a vividly blue sky. As far as my eye could see. Then the show began, the rain, the thunder, the lightning. My heart and soul felt overwhelmed with joy in just being alive, in that place, at that time.
I remember thinking, as the sheer beauty of the place soaked into me like water poured over a dry cloth, if there is a question of whether or not there is a power somewhere out there then the answer is unquestionably “Yes, there surely is.”
But I also thought why do we have to give this power a name? Why does it have to be a diety of some kind, a supreme being? What’s the significance of it being a He? The Almighty?
Why do we have to claim that this power is jealous when such an emotion is so human, so un-godlike? And why must this power be confined to books with a multitude of chapters and verses that are filled with rules of how to live that make our getting along as human beings appear to be utterly impossible, playing on our fears – passed down through the ages like the game where one person whispers in the next person’s ear and continues on down a line of listeners and the last person says something like “Men should not lie with men,” when what was said was “Hey, Ben, how you been?”
Such thoughts as these, as I took in this wonderful mountain world, fueled my spirituality. I looked all around me and wondered if the heaven so many of us seek is right here. I asked the air around me: is there anything more heavenly, more precious, than a planet that has absolutely enough of everything a human being needs or could ever need within our reach? Hell (pun intended) no!
In the vernacular of the day our world is “all that.” Why can’t we learn to trust our human instincts to reasonably govern ourselves within its boundaries? Why can’t we just breathe in its precious and ongoing never ending gifts to us and just enjoy its magnificence, walk its trails, climb its heights, swim its waters, fly its skies, accept its beauty as something we deserve as long as we, together, in harmony with each other, take care of it?
Hey, just inquiring out loud, just feeling Zihua, one of several spiritual places in my world.