Jun 27, 2012

THE OTHERSIDE OF THE VOLCANO: Sometimes life takes my breath away (the message is clear)

I live at the foot of an active volcano.  When I first moved to my little village seven years ago I asked all the ¨ancient ones¨ I could find if the volcano ever was dangerous to the town.  I was explained, over and over again, that our side of the volcano was harmless and the lava flowed down the otherside (which now happens to be the location of a fancylike golf course with expensive homes, owned by ¨ricos¨, dotted around it). 

Recently ¨our¨ volcano got very nasty during the night (I now sleep through the noisy booms and eruptions like one might become accustomed to a freight train passing nearby in the night) and there was a huge ¨spill¨ that lasted for days...the ¨golf course and luxury homes¨ were evacuated for a few days but in the end nothing much happened except a little ash settled for miles around.  Somehow the volcano always seems friendly to me...I´m not afraid.  It´s such a living and breathing presense in my immediate life that I can easily see why early indigenous folks had religious ceremonies that reflected great respect for the forces of Nature around it and them.  Sometime during this night we had a 5.7 earthquake (which I forgot to mention because I forgot it).

I feel somehow, deep down, I´m also connected to my community and the indigenous folks around me through the powerful, friendly to most,  dazzling volcano that watches over me and thousands of others on this side of it...the booming and shaking even appeals to me in a very human way...sometimes I boom, shake and spew firey words that are really just a lot of dark smoke while simultaneously life goes on, the coffee bushes keep sprouting, the roses keep growing, the weaving and embrodery keeps being hand making, crafting and embellishing and the birds are singing as if nothing is happening at all...life on lifes terms.  Living in Central America is living life in the down-to-earth-in-your-face- real and every human and natural reflection of passionate, and sometimes desperate, ¨being¨ presents itself daily.  As my Dad used to say, ¨getting old isn´t for cowards.¨


Grandmère Mimi said...

Lovely post, Len, and written from the heart. There's no ignoring the forces of nature where I live, either. Hurricanes take care of that. Plus, we are slowly (and sometimes not so slowly) sinking into the sea. In 50 years or so, our grandchildren will likely be living in houseboats or farther inland.

JCF said...

It's been a week, Leonardo. I trust you and the volcano are still getting along? (You're OK, that is?)

Leonardo Ricardo said...

hi friends,
i'm in texas (hot) for a couple of weeks and then on to florida (
hot) for jury duty...see you soon...love, len