At least I didn't die...

"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful." - Buddha

So I was headed to a small hamlet called "La Agua Fria" or the place of the cold water - the Opata indians and past inhabitants of these beautiful sierras called it like it was. 

Most of the surrounding villages and hamlets here in the Northern Sonoran sierras have Opata indian names.

The Opata were a Uto-Aztec tribe that had three sub tribe names like "Eudeve" or short people, "Tehuima" or iron spear people and "Jova" or the water people.

They also had names for the surrounding villages like; place where the river changes direction, place where the water is seen or one even one village named, the entrance to the place of the reeds.

There are only five "Nemutz" or shamans remaining in the sierras and three of these are also considered naturopathic physicians in their own right or "curanderos".

So I was headed to visit one of my most beloved shamans, a very noble, thin, dark-skinned and grey pony tailed man everyone calls Don Pesiquia.

 I had already told Maria de La Luz (my cousin) that I would be home late that night.

After a very difficult and exhausting three and 1/2 hour trip (I traveled less than 22 miles), I arrived at his very small adobe and pine tree home near the hamlet of "La Agua Fria".

After some joyous hugs and cordial conversation, we went out back to enjoy some of his homemade "Tepache." This is a natural alcoholic drink made of fermented pineapple peels and alot of piloncillo (suger cane).

Well after the long trip - the first glass of cool "Tepache" went down very smooth. I was quite thirsty and quickly accepted a second.

Within fifteen minutes I began to feel a bit lightheaded (as expected), but I also had a very real sense of calm about me.

We continued to remember the old days and laughed about some of the funnier experiences we had shared over the years.

Then I decided I needed a third glass and as I got up fell head first onto the dirt almost falling on Kimo his large german shepard.

Old Pesiquia almost fell out of his stool and I had never heard him laugh louder.

He stopped laughing long enough to ask me in his most serious tone, if the "Yoonighyet Estates" was making me soft... and we both laughed even harder.

We couldn't stop laughing and I finally was able to stagger over to the sacred moonshine and carefully poured me only about 1/4 of the glass from his huge clay jug.

I ended up staying and we talked into the night, as he adviced me about being kind to stupid people for they needed it the most.

He even gave me advice about marriage and that anyone who has one - should shower their mother in law with gifts to keep them away and keep the home happy.

We also talked about the on going wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and he said, "If only people would respect each other's lands we would come to know peace and see that there is no good out of fighting useless wars.

Wise and simple advice, coming from a man with no education but with an incredible  gift of listening and healing.

We laid outside on a couple of cots and enjoyed the milky way, the pristine star filled skies and even observed two bright falling stars.

I really have so much to be thankful for.  

Make it a great dia!

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