The Long Way
We arose early yesterday.
We were to meet a Huichole Shaman,
Who would take us up to their Holy Mountain.
He had a flat round hat with eagle feathers in it.
They were the same eagle feathers
that the Shaman before him had worn.
Around his shoulders was a red prayer scarf.
Around his waist, a sash that wrapped around his belly.
He placed a great knife within this sash.
On his head was another small sash with bright orange balls.
On his sides were two huichole bags,
One full of food and the other full of sacraments.
We walked briskly up the old cobble stone ancient road.
Our shaman guide led a torrid pace up to the 10,000 feet summit.
As we got to the doorway of the mountain trail,
We cleaned ourselves with a desert brush,
And we left the cares and worries of this world at that spot.
We walked without talking.
At the top, we shared in the Huichole Way.
The Shaman cleaned our body and our soul with his magic feathers.
He placed a beautiful yellow rose into holy water
And he annointed our heads with it.
Then we drank the water from the flower petals.
It was so sweet and pure.
We painted with a magic brush and blessed the world around us.
We threw coins to the altar, so that we may always have coins in our pockets.
When we left the mountain, we headed straight for another.
Up to Cierra Grande we went from the side I had not known.
With no trail, we made our way to a place where the eagles live.
We had lunch, on a ledge just above their nest.
We cooked tortillas with cheese on hot coals with fresh onions
and jalepenos and avacados.
Those blackened tacos were the best I've ever taken into my body.
From the perch of the eagles we made our way
to the summit of the tallest mountain in the range.
Our legs now are rubber.
Our knees are speaking of mutiny.
My feet are hot and sore.
And so we walk even more and even more.
We walk past the Montana Sagrada para Gueros
That had graced our souls just the day before.
We walked through a canyon and into the Pueblo Fantasma.
We walked until our minds were clean,
and our hearts were open.
Much later that night, sitting on a park bench in cool night air,
one of us said,
That was the Walk of a Lifetime.
We took the long way.