Showing posts with label lofty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lofty. Show all posts

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Monte Albán

Visible to the east from our rooftop patio, standing on a mountaintop is Monte Albán, one of the most important archeological sites in all of Mesoamerica. Several times since we moved to Oaxaca ten months ago we have attempted to go and visit, but found a line of vehicles waiting for entry. We turned around and left, choosing to try again later.

Recently Amy and I received our first guests to our home. Harold and Becky live in Chicago and I have known Harold for over forty years. With Monte Albán close by, we took a chance to go again, hoping for easy entry. Success at 11 AM on Friday! 

I felt a happy sense the moment I arrived in the parking lot and climbed a few steps of the ancient place.

Under blue skies we strolled in the midday heat, experiencing what was a metropolis and capital of the Zapotec people for 13 centuries, between 500 BC and 800 AD. Monte Albán is a world heritage monument and located on a low mountain range overlooking the city of Oaxaca⏤with its surrounding plains and villages. 

Exploring the site, I felt exhilarated with inspiration, sensing history and countless footsteps of those who had trod the ground under my feet. 

Monte Albán reminded me of another place of exceptional importance I have been to: The Acropolis on Mount Olympus at Athens, Greece. Its most famous structures, such as the Parthenon and Old Temple of Athena were constructed around the same time as Monte Albán. I thought of how remarkable that these very grand construction sites were also lofty places overlooking their surroundings. That meant they were very difficult choices for building sites. And such marvelous monuments were made! 
When something grand is made with human determination under extreme difficulty, in order to honor earth and heaven, it is holy.

Now that Amy and I know we can drive up the mountain sides and get to Monte Albán without too much hindrance, we are eager to go back often for inspiration.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Suddenly Vanished

The most difficult experience in life is separation. At birth, it is the baby being forced apart from the mother, coming from the womb and the umbilical cord being cut. Then the weaning from the breast, and if it is too sudden there is much crying. Later, the first steps away from mother and father, going off to school for the first time. As the child grows, new bonds of affection form with friends, and eventually, another separation unfolds with the leaving of home and family to start a new life of independence.

All the while, special care is taken to maintain the all-important bond of spirit. This way, a certain safety and security is assured. Even when there is great distance, the bond of spirit is beyond time and space doing its work.
That bond depends on trust. If trust is broken, then the bond breaks. This is worse than physical separation.

When my teen-aged daughter died at the age of nineteen, it felt as though my best partner in life had suddenly vanished. As if we had been hiking together on a wondrous and difficult mountain, helping each other along, crying and laughing together, in awe and also some fear, holding to one another and absolutely bonded, when of a sudden, she vanished—as if from a ledge she leapt into thin air, leaving me alone on the mountainside . . . taking some of my joy with her. We both knew in advance the perils, and she spoke of her uncertainty that she would remain by my side; not that she did not want to, but the hand of fate had written to her. If she spoke of this, I would respond that we could overcome even the hand of fate. But the higher powers wanted her and my love could not keep her from going to a realm even more high and mighty than the feeble mountain I clung to. Now, I found myself on the same wonderful and difficult mountain, but without my dearest friend, and nothing looked the same.

And so here I am fifteen years later in the same situation. Through a physical, mental and
emotional bond, in marriage to Heidi of the Mountains, we had been exploring the heights of our existence, gaining perspective from our vantage on a mountainside, seeing the low places below us, and dreaming of higher places, when the journey became more strenuous and suddenly tiresome. She doubted, and began longing to go back down. I held her hand to convince her of the most beautiful places we had been and just ahead, more sublimity and our lofty goal within reach. We must be loyal, and patient, to give each other strength to get there. I worried she was abandoning me, reminded of my experience with my daughter. I pleaded, but she turned away . . . I could not go with her, and though heartbroken, kept to the mountain.

It has secrets and charms that speak to me every day—bringing healing. The angelic winds play all around, with lofty, wondrous songs, the air is clear and bright, the path strewn with wildflowers. I will travel on, and deal with my loneliness. I trust that the longer I stay on course, the stronger I will become and more wise. The mountain will offer up its joy to me because I do not leave it, but remain faithful.