In San Marcos Sierras, listening to the cicadas

I am in a magical place.

Tucked away in San Marcos Sierras, in the dust, a small hippy mountain community that’s almost unbelievable to me. This is when I realize I’m on vacation.

Loud cicadas, louder and different than the ones in Tennessee, fill the night with sound. I write propped up on the porch, drinking wine with Wendy y Fer. It’s about 9 p.m., and the sun just set, a cue for the roaring bugs to begin. It’s cool and dry and dusty. My nose bleeds slightly and regularly from the dryness.

We arrived today,  after stopping first at La Rosario in La Cumbre to eat cookies, then unsuccessfully at The Owl for a beer and some hippy jam store full of jars and jellies and relishes…we shared a picada–salami, cheese, bread, hummus, cucumbers and apples. We were all grumpy and tired, having stayed out late late night and sitting in the car all day.

I napped during siesta in my tiny room that is locked with the typical skeleton key. It has hippy-looking wall hangings as curtains, the bedspread and desk cover. I then flowed through an hour of yoga, happy to move, to build heat, to clear my mind.

The desert–or this dry place–has a profoundly calming effect on my body, mind and spirit. Last night I dreamed in Spanish, or Spanglish. There isn’t really anyone to talk to except ma soeur, mi hermana, and Fer (note: I wrote this because most of the places we visit aren’t on the international tourism circuit. Very, very few people speak English in San Marcos, La Cumbre, Cordoba, etc.). When I’m tired or frustrated, I simply go inside. During my nap, I listened to the housekeepers television on in the background.

We drove to the river down dusty dirty roads, finally arriving and drinking mate among cows. We tried two different spots, the second one filled with dusty, tan young Argentines, rich hippies as seester and I joked, who made it feel like endless summer, playing music by the river, smoking cigarettes and sharing mate at their campsites.

While staying at Una Colonia Naturista (?), a place that rents rooms and two cabins, I have my own small room. There is just enough space to practice on the tile floor. I have yet to use a real mat on my trip, but I don’t mind the tile.

It’s so simple to rest in my breath, in my practice. Honestly it’s the only thing that’s familiar to me here, consistent and comfortable. Food, surroundings, season, time, hemisphere, the way my body feels–all of these things have been gently and comfortably tipped on their heads.

Tonight is the full moon. We will walk to the plaza and eat and drink for dinner, probably around 10 p.m., which is regular here.

Again, I find solace in the silence inside me, bugs roaring, people laughing and yelling, probably playing soccer in the distance. It’s as if I’m on my own romantic spiritual journey, instead of rolling out my mat, doing yoga on the cool tile floors wherever I am, on my sister’s patio, surrounded by clean lines and open walls.

The relationship between Wendy and I is strong, as it has been especially since we lived together in Knoxville. I still see and hear my internal story, my ego bubbling up when I realize how different we are. But I see my own recklessness, my too-trusting judgmental self, eager to see what’s next and always fascinated with whatever comes my way.

We talked at length about employment, equality and the communal qualities of this city and culture compared to what I go through at home. I’m not eager to end the trip. I want to soak up as much sun and summer as possible. And I will.

This trip represents a fork in my path. It may not directly change what I do day to day, but the calming, soothing sense of being here changes me already. I will go home. I will make plans. I will plan whatever the next part of my journey will be. It will involve a group of certain people, and many more I haven’t yet met. It will involve a significant amount of yoga and teaching and new experiences.

It will be exactly what I need.

I am here. It is quiet. I am quiet, receptive to the gifts and lessons and challenges in front of me.

I am blown away by my blessings!

Into the night we go…

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