As we entered the Pueblto area Lorenzo showed me a carving of an Indian Shaman in the stone. He explained that it is traditional to greet this carving and leave a smaller stone on top— in order to ask permission to enter. I was so caught up in the moment of learning about this that I did not actually pick up a stone and do it. (Duh!)
It reminded me of a different Jewish tradition– not the mezuzah tradition, which we spoke of earlier, but, a tradition in which a stone is left at or on top of a gravesite. This is done as an acknowledgement of being there, and for sending love. Usually flowers aren’t brought to a grave, because they will die quickly, but a stone will stay for a long time. I explained this ‘Jewish’ tradition to Lorenzo. He smiled and said that the Indians also leave a stone at a gravesite. Predictably though, burial grounds were not an area we would be able to visit or photograph.
Before long we entered the Pueblito, which consisted of several large thatched dwellings and a central gathering point. The gathering point was mostly an open area where people could dance, and have a campfire. There was one family of Cogi Indians that we could see, who lived there. Lorenzo seemed to know them well.
We looked around, rested a bit, snacked, drank water and had a short tour of the area. We were not the only ones there. There were hikers of all ages and from all over the world passing through this place. I wouldn’t say it was terribly crowded, but there would be groups of two or three, then a family of six or a whole tour of at least twelve on the trail. Lorenzo asked if I could have a picture with the Indian family. Actually, some people who asked for a picture before me had been denied. The tribe member looked me over for what seemed like a while. Then he nodded— yes.
Finally we started on the decent out of the Pueblito over huge boulders and down to the beach. On our way, we saw amazing views of the mountains and ocean, as well as some wild life– monkeys in the trees. Kaleb was energized on the boulders. He had the guidance and help of my Dad and David and sometimes me.
At the end of this long and fulfilling day, seven of us crammed in a hot, tiny taxi for the long drive back to the beautiful open-air lobby– tropical-just-on-the-beach hotel in Santa Marta– I looked at the guys and said, “Now this is what memories are made of!”
Thank you for reading this BLOG and for all your past support the Oneness Project. The research done on this hike and future travels will be used in the creation of pieces for the ‘Art for Prayer and Peace’ upcoming exhibit– which– I am excited to say, is in the planning stages. (WAY more on this to come.)
If you have not already (and even if you have), please join and continue to support me by making a generous tax deductible donation to ‘Art for Prayer and Peace.’ Thank you all for the privilege of doing this important work.
Thank You and I Love You!