My last day in Antigua I visited the church and convent of our Lady of the Pilar of Zaragoza (Convent of Las Capuchinas.) It was founded by five nuns who came from Madrid, Spain and was finished Jan 25, 1736.
I leave Antigua filled up with the city and am en route to Lake Atitlan. I traveled for the first time here last year in Feb. On that trip I covered a lot of territory : Guatemala City, Lake Atitlan, Chichicastenego, Antigua and Tikal all in nine days. On this trip, I spent an entire day and night in Antigua, and then it’s on to Lake Atitlan for the workshop. In a van with 26 participants for Joyce Marnard’s writing workshop. I’m in the front seat and after speaking with the driver for a bit,I go inside. I silently chant to myself the Guru Gayatri mantra Gobinde Mukanda, Udare, Apare, Hariang, Kariang, Nirnamay, Akamey which translates to: Sustainer, Liberator, Enlightener, Infinite, Destroyer, Creator, Nameless, Desireless. (These are the eight aspects or Names of the Creator) to keep my mind focused on something other than the windy road.
I see farms planted with coffee beans, women in the colorful Guatemalan clothes they sew themselves, fields of lettuce, boys riding bikes on the side of the road with their friends walking by their side, tire shops, bus stops, police in blue cars, white horses tied to a fence, purple flowers growing out of rocks,corn fields, pine trees, rocks painted white on the side of the road to keep drivers off the gravel, barefoot children holding onto their mother’s hands, restaurants advertising a complete lunch for 25 quetazeles( about $3.50 US), plus watermelon neatly lined up for sale next to white calla lilies,a lone white dog. I hear the sound of a luggage strap hitting the top of the van, smell of constant brakes of the cars, then I see a small white small dog dead in the road which mars it all so I switched to Ra Ma Da Sa, a mantra for healing.
Instead of us having lunch at a restaurant, which is easy, she arranged for a van on the side of the road to meet us with lunch. A local man serves us homemade tamales made of meat or veggies wrapped in Manaco; thick green leaves plus bananas and watermelon. I love how much she pays attention to details and makes a point of making our time special.She is constantly looking to help the locals whenever possible. Joyce has a great heart.
Even though it is cloudy, there is a point where we come around a bend in the road.I see the volcanos first and then there it is; the Tahitian blue lake of Atitlan. This is the lake Aldous Huxley said was the most beautiful in the world. Concentrating on the details keeps me from feeling what is going through me every day I am here and that is my mother. But I know I’ll get to that place.
Ojala que todos estan bien.