Rollo Del Tomebamba V

One of the activities I engage in everyday when possible is a walk along the Tomebamba River near my home in Cuenca, Ecuador. During this walking meditation my mind wonders along with that of the river. I love the sound of water. When the river is high, it blocks out the sounds of the city and my mind transcends to other worlds while my feet remain firmly in contact with the cobblestoned path. This path for a little while becomes a Yellow Brick Road into my own thoughts and life.

d6ad4d51-30a4-4ae6-a93a-f2c61125a3f6Silence

The rushing waters of the Rio Tomebamba
in orchestration with the songs of unseen birds
overrides the bustling noises of the city.
I watch my body from above rambling down the
cobbled stone path oblivious to my absence.
I am a part of this beautiful web of silence.
The space where even thought does not enter.
Brought back into existence only by the
youthful screams of children playing on bicycles.
No silence on earth could mask such joy.

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Random thoughts while I walk to The Roll of the Tomebamba. 

 

 

Rollo Del Tomebamba IV

One of the activities I engage in everyday when possible is a walk along the Tomebamba River near my home in Cuenca, Ecuador. During this walking meditation my mind wonders along with that of the river. I love the sound of water. When the river is high, it blocks out the sounds of the city and my mind transcends to other worlds while my feet remain firmly in contact with the cobblestoned path. This path for a little while becomes a Yellow Brick Road into my own thoughts and life.

d6ad4d51-30a4-4ae6-a93a-f2c61125a3f6The Raging Waters

The river is high today from the many recent rains. Not a good day for river rafting or kayaking. The real dangers are hidden beneath the white surf of the waves. The rocks are invisible from the surface covered by the river but are still there, lurking.

This was the way the river was in Mexico when Kathleen died. It had rained the night before and the river was rough. The owner of the service did not want to refund the tickets for a cancelled trip so he convinced his river guides and the guests to do the trip despite its dangers and to go overland for a particularly difficult section of the river. The river gods were not kind that day. Before they reached the section to begin the overland, raft #1, the one Kathleen was in flipped. Raft #2 was down river of raft #1 so the guide tied his raft to shore to catch guests coming toward him. As he assisted getting the guests back into raft #1, Kathleen included, raft #2 which was still tied to land flipped. The guide from raft #2 untied his boat and went after the guests going down the river. By this time both boats were in the dangerous part of the water. The part the owner of the company told them to do over land, but they still had guests in the river and could not dock the rafts. By the time they reached the middle of the dangerous section, all guests had been recovered. Then in the raging waters raft #1 flipped again. 

They were able to save all but Kathleen. They recognized her by her helmet going with the current. The rafts were finally able to dock a mile or so down river and one of the guides went for help. The guests including Kathleen’s daughter and grand daughter were standing safely on shore as Kathleen’s body floated passed them in the river. Three miles down river, they recovered her battered remains.

The assumption is she was pulled under by the current and was stuck in the rocks as the rafts passed her overhead. A helmet and life vest did not protect her. She died because someone’s greed superseded the importance of someone’s life. Those rafts should never had been in the water that day just as no raft should be in the Tomebamba today.

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Random thoughts while I walk to The Roll of the Tomebamba. Death is an integral part of life. This piece, however, is about love and remembrance. The Tomebamba is a healing river. As good as any grief counselor I know.

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Rollo Del Tomebamba III

One of the activities I engage in everyday when possible is a walk along the Tomebamba River near my home in Cuenca, Ecuador. During this walking meditation my mind wonders along with that of the river. I love the sound of water. When the river is high, it blocks out the sounds of the city and my mind transcends to other worlds while my feet remain firmly in contact with the cobblestoned path. This path for a little while becomes a Yellow Brick Road into my own thoughts and life.

d6ad4d51-30a4-4ae6-a93a-f2c61125a3f6Destruction and Life

This morning I am on a thoughtless stroll until I see this tree. One of its main limbs was broken off in yesterday’s storm. Although I feel sadness for the lost limb, there is also a certain joy in knowing the tree still lives. It will heal itself either with or without the assistance of man. That is the power of nature.

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This ability to heal and to continue life after the loss of an arm or leg is inherited from nature. As long as the core remains mostly in tack, the body will survive. Human kind will survive. However, for us to continue to survive, we need to have a healthy core planet to support that life.

Whenever the government sends a probe to the Moon, Mars, or some other planet one the first thing the probe does is to search for signs of water. Why? Because from our limited human range of reference, water is necessary for the possibility of life. Life existed in water long before it existed on land.

The earth’s oceans are her lungs and we clog them with tumors of plastic. Her rivers like this one are her veins and we pollute them with chemical waste and garbage. Life as we know it is dependent upon water. We need to do a better job taking care of our planet and primarily its waterways. Water is our most precious and valuable resource for life.

Random thoughts while I walk to The Roll of the Tomebamba.

F89693C3-B7AD-42A5-9278-3614342FADEC.jpegHealing with the assistance of man.

Rollo Del Tomebamba II

One of the activities I engage in everyday when possible is a walk along the Tomebamba River near my home in Cuenca, Ecuador. During this walking meditation my mind wonders along with that of the river. I love the sound of water. When the river is high, it blocks out the sounds of the city and my mind transcends to other worlds while my feet remain firmly in contact with the cobblestoned path. This path for a little while becomes a Yellow Brick Road into my own thoughts and life.

d6ad4d51-30a4-4ae6-a93a-f2c61125a3f6Cuenca Parks

Today during my walk I am thinking about all the wonderful parks there are in this city. Except for the bus and car fumes in El Centro, Cuenca is a wonderful city to walk around. There are many city parks scattered about offering a shady spot to rest and relax. Most of the squares or parks are anchored by a church. The larger parks have fountains and all have trees and gardens. Many offer wifi until 10pm, and most important, the parks are safe.

Almost all of the parks have a statue of some war hero or politician. Parque de las Mujeres has a bronze statue of a woman carrying and towing her children along. She seems filled with resolve and fearlessness. If I were to have a statue made of me, I would want it to be similar to the statue of that woman who has no name. She is representative of the human spirit.

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But I do not wish to have a statue made of me. The statues of these heroes and politicians whose names we learned in school become no more than a resting place for pigeons and their poop. A different thinking government might come into power and have the statues of former heroes and politicians destroyed. You can not find a statue or bust of Stalin in Russia, or a statue of Saddām Hussein in Iraq today although they were once the saviors of their respective countries. A different populous might judge the heroes as war criminals or judge their character based upon today’s standards and not the standard of their own time. The statue of a Confederate war hero or general might be defaced and removed, for by today’s standards he is judged to be a racist because he owned slaves, a practice accepted in his own day. Perhaps some day “Mission Accomplished” George Bush will be deemed a war criminal for lies which led a nation to an unnecessary war and all busts and statues of him will be removed. Those weapons of Mass Destruction were never found. I wonder if there is a place where fallen statues go, a statue graveyard. Who knows?

Random thoughts while I walk to The Roll of the Tomebamba.

2343eea8-815d-4ccb-bde0-760d86b09376My favorite resting spot.

 

Rollo Del Tomebamba I

One of the activities I engage in everyday when possible is a walk along the Tomebamba River near my home in Cuenca, Ecuador. During this walking meditation my mind wonders along with that of the river. I love the sound of water. When the river is high, it blocks out the sounds of the city and my mind transcends to other worlds while my feet remain firmly in contact with the cobblestoned path. This path for a little while becomes a Yellow Brick Road into my own thoughts and life.

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Tell me what it is you plan to do with (what remains of) your one wild and precious life.”

These words of Mary Oliver’s are echoing in my thoughts this morning. Since retirement, I have not had a plan for my life. I still don’t. I did most of my traveling while I was young enough to do so under my own power either backpacking or bicycling. Traveling now is no longer the joy for me it once was. I have said my goodbyes to those who matter and most of all  I am very content with my life as it unfolds. Each day I do the things I love. I read, I write, I think, I dream and I take walks along the Rio Tomebamba. This is the life I create for myself. There are no decisions to be made other than do I go right or left at the crossroads.

Random thoughts while I walk to The Roll of the Tomebamba.

b596b97a-2d8b-432a-aa58-3c1b599459edCross Roads