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The Altomesayok Journey, May-June 2009, updated June 20

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Communing with the Holy Mountains in Peru


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Cane Grass Fights Back; Anniversary; First Despacho

HAIKU, Maui, June 13-14 - As anxious as I was to continue my work on the lower uaca and my apucheto in the gulch, guess the Creator and the spirits had other ideas.  For, after I  having visited the sacred place, and having done a little light gardening down there, I was struck down by cane grass just as I was putting my tools away at the upper part of the Rainbow Shower (name of our property).

The word "grass" is a misnomer.  Think of dried out cane grass as bamboo spears (left).  Well, one of them pierced my left leg so ferociously and so deeply that it took a doctor at the Kahului hospital emergency room an hour and 15 stitches to close the wound.  Well, not quite close, as you can see.  But close enough.  Better than the loose piece of flesh that was flapping about my leg when I came up to the house and asked Elizabeth to stay calm.  Which she did.

Well, that little distraction did not stop us from enjoying a delightful anniversary dinner at an Indian restaurant with a gorgeous oceanfront view in Kihei (above).  Well, at least we had lots of fun until the anesthetic started to wear off... :-)

The following morning, Sunday, June 14, turned out to be an immaculate day.  Everything around our property seem to be sparkling, as if welcoming El Patron home.  :-) You can see a Heliconia flower from our property which we picked as our anniversary flower (left), as well as some other Heliconia bushes right next to our house (middle left). 

The Gardenia bushes on the other side of the deck seemed just as happy (middle right).  You can also see both Maui volcanoes from there in the two right photos - Haleakala (over 10,000 ft to the south, a male volcano in my perception), and Puu Kukui (about 7,000 ft to the west, a female volcano). And the Upper Rainbow Shower uaca (right), which triangulates between them and the Lower uaca in the gulch, seemed to be also basking in a happy morning light.

I continued my inspection of the Upper Rainbow Shower delighting in new growth and flowers and fruit that greeted my return home.  The Plumeria tree on the right is a transplant.  It had been given up for dead where it was, about a hundred yards or so up the hill.  I moved it down to just above our new gulch road in late April.  I had been nursing it with fertilizer, water and prayers before I left for Peru.  I was thrilled to see how it responded and sprung back to life. 

I reminded me of a Jacaranda tree back in Phoenix that my Mexican gardener had also given up for dead.  I nursed it for a couple of months, and it also came back to life. It even bloomed "off season," in late summer, thinking it was spring.  Ever since, my Mexican gardener has been referring to me as the "Tree Doctor."  Well, maybe a Tree Shaman now?  :-)


I was also delighted to see that chestnut seedling in the leftmost shot looking so healthy.  Before I left for Peru, it had been infested with ants and looking pretty miserable.  I cleared its roots, sprayed it, watered it and prayed to it before I left.  And now it is responding happily.  Ditto re. the numerous guava trees which you can see in the middle left shot.  They had been all overwhelmed by the 8-10 ft tall cane grass when I took possession of the property back in late March.  Our gardeners and I have since struggled to clear the cane grass.  And now, the grateful guava trees are laden with blossoms and fruit. 

I told Elizabeth we now have so many of them we could start a guava jam factory. :-)  She said she was game.  So stand by for a "Rainbow Shower Guava Jam," a new brand you may find in your local supermarket by next winter.  :-) [just kidding... but if you do come for a visit, we'll let you taste it].

Finally, both our papaya and coconut trees have gifted us with fresh fruit this week.  So I felt as if the nature, the rocks as well as my darling Elizabeth were all welcoming me home in a most loving way.  Except for cane grass, of course.  And who could blame it.  I have been waging war on cane grass for the last three months.  And it seems only fair that it should fight back. :-)

Anyway, last Sunday, we did a beautiful despacho, our first at the Rainbow Shower.  I had a kintu prepared for each of the participants of our Altomesayok journey, wrapped in llama fat and decorated by a red carnation petal.  Of course, I also had several other kintus for Elizabeth and our families.  With all that love blown into the despacho, the fire at my apucheto at the Lower Rainbow Shower (the gulch uaca) slurped it up on a first match strike like a firestorm. 

Later, we used the same fire to cook some delicious tuna steaks.  Yum!  So we ended up feeding the spirits first, then ourselves.  :-)

Happy Summer Solstice! (to those of us in northern hemisphere)

Happy Winter Solstice! (to those of you in Australia and South America)


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