Sitting in a small table in Jarabacoa amongst my friend, her uncle, and a few of his friends, an older artists tells me these words before telling my pal the story of her past lives. This is not the first time I’ve heard this, that the land and I are one. No. It has come to me in more light-hearted forms.
On my mother’s side of the family my younger sister is known as Queen Anna. She’s a loud, proud, opinionated little lady who usually gets her way. One time she asked my family “well, if I’m Queen, what does that make Camila.” After thinking about it for a moment, my cousin responded “well, I guess she’d be a worker in the fields.” Jeez, thanks cuz. But, in reality, it’s probably true. The earth is the carrier of my heartbeat, the place I feel closest to God, where my soul finds it’s freedom.
Here in the Northeast it’s been in the 90s the past several days. All I want to do is sit outside near a body of water and merge with it, becoming a water sprite. This would make me way happier than being trapped inside my apartment attempting to pack or in the coffee shop with the air conditioning full force ringing up customers. I just want to be outside somewhere gazing at the sky, listening to birds chirp, feeling the crackle of leaves and twigs beneath my feet. I need fresh air and the current of water around my ankles. I’m thirsting for the outdoors unabashedly untamed living out it’s existence as it really is.
I yearn to just lie quietly in a mountain meadow surrounded by wildflowers and bee-harvested grass with the trickling of a stream nearby lulling me into a doze. It’s like that time when I was living in Toronto and every 3 weeks, all I wanted to do was get out of the city and get to where the ratio of nature to concrete was more like 3:1 instead of 1:5. Asphalt and skyscrapers just make me antsy if I’m in their domain too long. I get on edge. Nature is my positive addiction.
My family teases me, because when it’s warm out, I’m outside, and there is a creek, a pond, or a sea I will leap in even if the water is freezing and create synchronized dances, spin around and around in circles, float on my back staring at the sky. That’s all I want to do right now- allow myself to be entangled with the earth breathing in the quiet sighs of the universe. I mean, hell, back when I was in elementary school I wanted to grow up and become a monkey because I liked climbing trees so much. I want to stand with my bare feet growing roots into the soil.
Even with weddings, I was never that kid that’s planned everything since age 5, but the one thing I always knew is that I couldn’t get married in a church or inside a town hall. I had to get married outside. That was my only requirement and I’ve got to say, I’m certainly succeeding with that one. I can’t help it, I love being outside and right now I’m feeling a little deprived of my outdoor time. As soon as Geoff and I have our apartment all packed up and we have a few days off, it’ll be time for a few days chilling on the beach swimming out to seaweed-stained rocks, bathing in the sunlight, and watching seagulls swoop and hawks combing the waters for fresh fish. This is my something to look forward to for the week, my motivating factor to get things done so I can just relax for a moment. These thoughts of nature are the ones that are currently consuming my mind and the ones that if I’m lucky, I will soon appease.