Into the jungle
By Miriam Drake
Someday I will live here. For now, I visit as often as possible.
Why do I visit this remote natural area with no shopping malls, very few paved roads, few cars, and few people? There is no direct route to the Amazon jungle. You take a plane or two, a van and a bus, and sometimes a canoe to get deep into the heart of the lungs of the world. Pristine, raw, passionate, primary forest, Big Nature is an entity with its own laws. Nature reigns supreme.
The laws of Nature are perfect, and they are the only laws. When I am in the jungle, I feel a peaceful alertness, and a kind of exhilaration. And due to all the plants everywhere of every description, there is an abundance of oxygen to breathe. There is life everywhere, and no cement, no people, and so there are no artificial noises. The body feels good here. The body lets down. The lungs clear, and the heart opens and beats more slowly. There is an ease and openness about life. Take it as it comes.
It is so natural and easy, with nowhere to go, no time tables, and of course no rush hour. Simply being in the moment and enjoying the pleasures of the now take precedence. That’s what I do here. I breathe and live simply. All of nature is my cave. All of nature is my temple, my Divine space in this world. Pure Nature is rare. Finding it, you keep it to yourself. You hide this precious gift, undisturbed by humans. Hold the primordial gem close, and love it. Those humans who live here are either in a natural relationship with everything, or they are trying to get out to the developed world to find something else.
I have been somewhere else, and I know where I belong. I yearn to be with the jungle and hear its sounds day and night, and smell the earthy pleasures carried along by the wind. The misty, steamy jungle drips with rain as the morning torrents come and go. As I approach the jungle now, it recognizes me. The vast creative intelligence of the jungle is waiting and receptive, with arms wide open as I walk in. I feel the big energy as I get closer. With huge love in my expanding heart, I walk into its alive, intelligent, knowing, loving embrace. The perfection of this alive, vibrant Divinity is everywhere and I am in it now, and the love I feel is great. I walk alone, silently along the river, up the worn foot paths as far as I can go.
Finally, the path ends at an overlook on tall solid granite cliffs. Standing there above the river, the breeze created by the charging river waters below sends up sprinkles of water everywhere. The electric charge of the river energy is almost more than I can bear. The energy lifts me up into euphoria, and I must sit down, otherwise fall down. The bliss is so great that I want to stay forever. I cannot speak. The big energy overpowers my body, raising me up beyond my mortal self. The jungle gives this grand joyful gift to me freely. The joy, love, and happiness I feel are my gift to it in return. We commune. We are aligned. The intimacy of our relationship is pure and honest. My heart begins to beat again and I come to my senses.
A large, colorful bright yellow and black bird swoops by as if sending me a private message. I want to be able to decode these messages one day. For now, I am present and witness, and live in respectful ignorance. The tall tree canopy high above protects me from the hot sun that has just appeared, abandoned by the clouds, and the entire complexion of the jungle changes. All the birds come out, and the ants and spiders come out, and everyone is out looking for something to eat or drink. The steam rises again as the sun hits the leaves high above and filters down midway toward the earth. I sit here in awe of the profound beauty and perfection of this place. Everything is in motion. Everything is in a state of change, heading from one state to another. Beginning, middle and ending. Creation, maturation, decline and destruction, everywhere you see the signs of life in a grand cycle.
There is an infinite number of moving parts in the forest, all pursuing their duties. very centimeter is packed with living, breathing beings. Each soul has a living purpose. Each life has a life cycle and contribution to make to the whole piece of music. And at night, deep into the night, the night music will surprise you. There are no other sounds but the on and off of the life music: heeeeeeeeeeee…mmmmmmmmm …heeeeeeeeeeee … mmmmmmmmmm… heeeeeeeeeeee … mmmmmmmmmm. All life is living and breathing in unison. I notice that my heart is beating in union with this rhythmic confluence of living sounds. My breathing goes with it as well. My entire being is completely peaceful and united with the living, breathing jungle. What could be more basic than the fetus breathing in unison with the mother?