Being Tested in the Desert Sands and Bad Airline Companies
What makes some days so beautiful and others full of such hardship. The mountains are singing today, the baby has a huge smile on his face and my little toddler decides that today is the day of kindness and compassion with a grin that will melt your heart. Life is full of its ups and downs, and this is part of the way beauty in this world unfolds.
Sir Porquo estas muy tarde! Why are you here so late?
We have been calling your name for the past hour.
Yes we found a lighter in your bag and our policy when flying is you are only allowed 1 lighter.
Well how many lighters are in the bag.
“Well just take the other one out then.”
“We cannot do that. Management says you need to take the lighters out. And our plane leaves in three minutes.”
“Sir, we waited because of the rains in Puculpa for 8 hours. Then we missed our flight in the morning by 20 minutes. This is our third try. Please!”
“No Ma’am someone needs to stay with the bag or you will lose it.”The bag with all of our warm cozy clothes, Pictures, Books, Our life in a box, as we got ready to head towards mountain life and making our life there.
I was pushing 5 days. I am not exaggerating. Five days of no sleep. My little 7 month old then had caught a bad cold and had been up all night, that mixed in with ceremonies that were going until 4 in the morning and a 3 year old who woke up at 5:30 everyday, I was spent.
I had just finished a 2 month intensive retreat working with plant medicines. Fasting from food and water. Silence. Ceremonies and an intense process of transformation and was feeling extremely vulnerable, travelling without my husband who was staying an extra 2 weeks by himself in retreat for some much needed alone time. I almost started sobbing right there.
It had taken me almost 3 days to leave the Jungle. 5 flight changes. We arrived at the airport 3 different times, and finally when we arrived, We missed our connecting flight by 20 minutes because our organized cab did not show up. It was this and more then I can put on paper.
All these strange incidents had occurred to get me on this specific flight. The eerie energy in the air, of some great conspiracy was at play and there was nothing I could do but surrender.
My brother had escorted me to Lima, Peru’s capital, where we were catching our next flight together. As I had a huge amount of luggage a fairly young baby and toddler who was more wild then most.
“Mommy,where is uncle Adam going.
He’s going to get something. I huffed. ” He will meet us later… in a couple of days.”
Ok no big deal I thought. We’ll land, I’ll get a taxi and oh god maybe I could even sleep on the plane.
Oh to sleep. What an incredible thought.
Raven passed out within 15 minutes. Baby Kuray within 20 and just as I began to doze off, the announcement came on that we had begun our decent.
Wow that was fast I thought.
I closed my eyes and passed out for what I thought was 20 minutes, when another announcement came on. I woke up to a crowd of people standing on the plane, angrily waving their tickets, with the announcer asking people to sit down.
A guy, with a soft face and big smile, with a t shirt that read Best Hangover ever caught my eye.
“Excuse me, my Spanish is less than mediocre can you tell me whats going on.”
“Yes the plane couldn’t land in Cusco so we are now landing an hour away in ariquipa, a town known for its sand dunes and beaches.”
Hmmm… ok this was going to be a little complicated, But Ok.
After the plane had landed all restraint seemed to be let loose. People were yelling and screaming. I couldn’t even stand up in this mob of a plane and had to push my way out the door.
The airline said they could not be responsible for the weather and that people could take the bus to our original destination Cusco.
Well let me tell you about South Americans. Though they are so humble, kind hearted and will always share a piece of bread with you. They are not polite when it comes to things like this, and I was a little nervous for this lady in red flight attendants uniform.
The plane would be flying back to Lima, and those who wanted to stay behind and take the bus could do so and take the overnight bus. The tickets would not be refunded and everyone would have to pay for a brand new ticket to cover the costs of the flight. People angrily got off the plane to wait for their bags.
I started talking to the other passengers and asked if I could come with a group of people to the bus station. Hanging out, making some jokes and exchanging names, when suddenly, the plane starts to back off, and announces that it is getting ready for takeoff.
A small crate of bags had come through, but the majority of people had not received their luggage.
A mob of Yelling passengers ran to the plane and started a blockade on the runway. The wind was blowing hard and a small dust storm began.
Epic I thought. This really cannot get anymore strange.
The airline then called the police and security in.
As the men in uniforms arrived with their guns and walky talkies and told the people to move out of the way, the people got even angrier.
“You are thieves”
One man was shimmying up the airplane wheels. Another girl had stolen a walky talky from the Security and was demanding in they return to us our bags and to get ready for the lawsuit.
I just couldnt stop laughing in between the sleep deprivation and raven tugging on my dress.
I almost just left as I was sure that my bags were at the airport in Lima stuck with one extra lighter.
Finally though after about 30 minutes of attempted takeoff. The pilot seemed to realized that these passengers were not going away, backed up the plane and opened the cargo door.
And then out came every single one of my giant suitcases, including a full set of crystal bowls.
Ok here we go.
My little Pasi was drinking chicha outside after the fiasco.
“Want a drink.” a sweet little woman with long eye lashes asked me.
“Oh god please!” as I chugged the corn alcohol drink with a giggle.
A 40 minute taxi ride, 10 hours later into the night on mountain roads, we arrive at 6 in the morning, to our brand new guest house in a sweet little mountain village.
Oh but wait. There is a water shortage, and the entire town is out of water. The guest house that I had just sent my little savings into buying was in shackles. The beds were full of fleas and bed bugs and many of the agreed upon items of purchase were not there.
The kids are coughing like crazy. The babies fever is up. I still have not slept more than 3 hours in days. I am completely and utterly exhausted.
What is going on? I think. I could not have planned this if I had tried.
I say a prayer and take a deep breath.
I look up to the sky. The sun is shining, and I know in the deepest part of myself that this is my test.
That this is where all these late nights and long days of healing actually begins. Where I had spent so many countless eves working to rewire my brain, retrain myself in my reactions so that life could slap me in the face and I could turn the other check and know that there was an agreement here.
In our world today we don’t talk too much about how life will test us. But in most ancient cultures and religions there is a deep understanding that God, or the universe or whatever your beliefs are, will test you. And what is more. You actually stood in line at the university of life and signed yourself up for it.
The Bible, The Torah, the Upanishads, the Native Teachings and Stories from around the world all know and teach of the time of testing, and it usually arrives after a deep transformation and offering has taken place. The classic story of Christ on the mountain after 40 days. Or Buddha in the Garden facing Mara. It is not the way you think it will look. And it usually does not arrive in the shape of a red tailed demon offering you riches if you put down your faith. Though that flight attendant in the red uniform making announcements did have a similar flare. These are just archetypes for the million moments that make up the one moment where you are faced with the light and darkness of your own soul and the choices that will build your mansions.
Because the truth is, as much as we obsessively run around this physical world. Our souls are on a journey of their own, and contain a master intelligence.
There are times when things happen, and it may seem like a little blip in the road. In this little story of mine, no there was not a war happening, I was not violently attacked. Actually everywhere I went I knew I was being protected and I trusted as things unfolding. But there is a time where you will be tested. Sometimes its the small things that are actually more difficult to master.
We are usually stronger than we think we are. The deep strength of humanity in our bones and blood. I have been through some pretty difficult things in my life. Some would call even terrible. But in my life I had learnt that I was a strong woman, and that when I felt weakest, I actually was strongest, if I let myself surrender to the spirit of it all.
This little episode was hilarious and difficult but I knew without a doubt that this was something else. This was actually a test, and would I pass it? Would I give in, Freak out and feel sorry for myself. Would I complain and be bitter. How would I manage.
I thought of my father. Of being stuck in the Venezuelan dessert with him. Cold to the rising moon. Making a fire to starlight, with no food or water, and being so incredibly angry with him that he would get us into this situation in the middle of nowhere.
This is a test my sweetheart. And all your life you will be tested and taught. If you want to make God laugh. Tell him your plans. Sometimes God speaks through your father. Or through an old woman selling corn. Or through your boss, your colleague, Through your garden plot of oregano. or even an article someone posted on Facebook. Hell and Holy water, everything is connected and communicating with us.
Knock knock came the clattering metal door.
Hey guys. I made it. In walks uncle Adam, not a day too late.
God never gives us more than we can handle.
My brother ushered me to go to bed while he would watch the kids.
And then finally, Oh finally I slept.
I woke up with a big stretch to sunshine, sang my praise to the winds and whispered I trust you.
I trust you again and again, I really do. Life, god the goddess the wise woman hiding inside of me. I trust you
And the days pass, and tears of frustration turn into tears of Joy. Last night we feasted with friends, music and sharing. In the morning I went looking for raven and found him holding girls hands in the sheep field and riding his bicycle all day. We sorted out the guest house, and found a much better place for the same cost to run our projects.
We have a beautiful home and garden with my most favorite food in the whole cosmos. avocados.
I watched my partner do the dishes and totally fell in love with him again. And another day comes. Full of its trials and tribulations, its incredible joys and Bliss. And I give thanks. Because there were times where I had the world in my palm and I couldn’t see it. And now, my life is more simple than ever and I feel like a queen.
And again I am reminded its not what happens to us. Its not the story. Its how we react to the theatre of our story. Its how our footsteps touch the pavement or dirt paths down to the pastures. Because this is how we learn. This is how we change in this short and long life of ours. Like an old oak tree reaching for the heavens. We Grow.