At 16, I had my earliest visual trigger from a geographical location.
Being an Army brat, we traveled a lot when I was little. The fondest memories I have of our time abroad are those from Tehran, Iran in the late 1970’s. Hearing the beautiful calls from the minuets every morning strummed something deep inside of me; even to this day, I pour my heart’s love song to the sunrise.
Mom and Dad decided not to drag us girls around everywhere on dad’s tours away, and our small family ended up settling in the American Southwest . There we were – trapped on Tatooine – worlds away from our relatives.
One family, in the farthest state in the North East; the other, in a completely different Hemisphere. I would be an adult mother-of-my-own before I would understand the full scope of abuse that kept our nuclear family so isolated.
Dad , incapacitated and unemployable, was medically discharged from the Army’s service when I was nearly a teen. This left mom with the burden of being the sole bread winner, raising girls, and caring for a degenerative husband. She brought in most of the family income as a hired domestic of our small town. Needless to say, we had a very humble upbringing.
Despite these extremely tight financial restrictions, Mom managed to save up enough money to take my sister and I to her country, Bolivia, for our first and only time to meet our grandmother, aunt, and many cousins.
I’ll never forget how the air was completely sucked out of my lungs the moment that cabin door opened as we stood to exit the plane.
La Paz is a city that is nearly 12,000 feet above sea level! 11,942 feet to be exact. So, yes, it would have been nice to be prepared for this dramatic shock before arriving in this city in the sky. It must have slipped Mom’s mind…
Just walking around the airport, let alone climbing the inclines of the city sidewalks, required marathon training my teenage body was not prepared for. The cold – it was biting! When we got on the plane, it was a hot summer; when we got off, a cutting winter – a perfect metaphor for the culture shock my young, American self would experience.
Meeting my grandmother and family softened these blows, however. Though I couldn’t speak Spanish (yes, we were fully assimilated Americans), I began to feel a communication through the heart, a communication beyond what words could convey. I noticed how her hands, and that of my other family members, were so stretched and swollen, reddened and somewhat chapped. It was the altitude.
Ahhh, but I could sink into that wooly hug of my grandmother and smell the mountains. This once tall, regal woman was now as short as I. Two long, braided ropes of dark hair draped from her black derby atop a colorful pile of woven shawls. She took my face in her hands and looked at me so deeply, as if from a moment beyond time.
She KNEW me, even though she didn’t.
“Mi, hija!” Barely getting the words out, she managed this gurgled phrase through her tears. She clutched me so tightly. She had waited my whole life to pour into me all that she could convey in that one embrace. Forehead to forehead, we needed no words to communicate our heart connection. Somehow, the interface of that embrace awakened in me the ancient remembrance we shared in our blood.
Her embrace, her broken teeth, her sly, coyote-laugh. In my grandmother, I felt a kindred connection like none other I have ever felt since. But, she lived outside the city, and I would only get to see her for a few short days of that three-week trip.
Living in that cold climate far from the comforts of home – having to wash my clothes BY HAND on washboards on the roof of our family apartment in the bitter cold – yeah, this teenager was ready to go back to America!
But, my cousin David tried to entice us to stay longer, so he arranged a trip to Cochabamba, a warmer part of the country. From there, we would also see Tiahuanacu and Lake Titicacca. From there, I would also look into a portal for the first time.
I remember Cochabamba as a very colorful place, full of activity and neon colored banners and clothing. We traveled on a straw canoe-like boat to a island of the shore toward the middle of Lake Titicaca where we visited an old church. I noticed a distinctly different representation of Mother Mary; she was displayed as a black madonna, not the traditional one I knew.
“Why does Mary look like that, Momma? I thought Mary was white.”
“They don’t know what She looks like,” Mom clipped with an air of arrogance and continued walking with the crowd.
We finished our tour of the old church and returned to the shore of the lake where I lingered behind. There was something about this lake that just seemed to hypnotize me as I watched the waves slap upon the beach. I wanted to catch up to my family because I was excited for our next adventure, but I was caught in an invisible field that no one else seemed to sense.
I walked along the shore of the lake, the highest one on Earth, and the light and shadows of the water seemed to align into a discernible set of steps.
I couldn’t believe my eyes! I looked closer, and sure enough, I saw stairs along the shoreline that led deep into the lake! As if inviting me into the ancient city that lay beneath, in a flash, the physical world I occupied dissolved and I could see the ancient temples with the eyes of my heart-mind. The light turned golden and the shadows turned various hues of green.
Excited, I hollered at my mom who had kept pace with my sister and cousin toward the car.
“Mom!” She hadn’t realized I was so far behind them when she noticed me. “Mom! There are steps in the lake!” I pointed at the water along the shore, I could feel the excitement of the vision nearly make my hair rise with static electricity.
“What are you doing near that water?” she scowled. ” Peligroso! ” She jabbed her pointed finger at the lake behind me. “That lake is cursed! Get over here!” Her finger now pointing to my post beside her.
“But mom, come see it. Don’t you want to see it?”
“There are no steps there, girl! Just water, now get over here. We’ve got to go.”
And with the next splash upon the shore, the vision evaporated.
I sulked my way toward my mother, and headed toward the car with everyone else. Deflated.
I would be vindicated by an international dive team a little more than a decade later , however, who would discover after the turn of the century what I had seen in the mid 1980’s. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/892616.stm
Lake Titicacca would be the first in a series of triggers that I receive – and activate – upon our planet. As the power of the Sacred Fires grow within me, the more effective the interaction between worlds. I bow to the Presence of my Divinity to ensure this remembrance in me. May you, dear reader, discover your gifts through the acceleration Sacred Fire offers.
Please enjoy this short video on this amazingly mysterious lake that makes the juices of my remembrance to flow!