|A b i g a i l M .
15 March 1998
Amazon River - Yacumama Lodge
Here, where I am surrounded by an enormous landscape, which the winds blow
across as they come from the seas, here I feel that there is no one anywhere
who can answer for you those questions and feelings which, in their depths,
have a life of their own... but even so, I think that you will not have to
remain without a solution if you trust in things that are like the ones my
eyes are now resting upon. If you trust in Nature, in what is simple in
Nature, in the small Things that hardly anyone sees and that can so suddenly
become huge, immeasurable; if you have this love for what is humble and try
simply, very simply, as someone who serves, to win the confidence of what
seems poor: then everything will become clearer to you, more coherent and
somehow more reconciling, not in your concious mind perhaps, which stays
behind, astonished, but in your innermost awareness, awakeness and knowledge.
Rainer Maria Rilke
I am on the Amazon River. The breeze that is whisked up by the wind on the
river is both refreshing and wonderful, and the air is fresh and unpolluted,
filling me with a sensation that is both invigorating and comforting. A
power exists here, in this place, which both mystifies and awes me. Many
tiny huts spring upon the shore as we pass, and kingfishers are common. Off
in the distance, the rainforest can be seen.
We are floating through the rainforest now. At a distance, it was easy to
identify the different strata of the forest, but now it is all mixed
together and the importance of differentiating between the understory and
the canopy seems trivial compared to enjoying the beauty of this place. Our
extroverted group appears to have been taken in by the power of the forest,
and as I look about me, I see a serenity which is unlike our usual ways. We
are content, happy, and at peace. This truly is an amazing place.
It has started to rain, very lightly, and the mist it creates shrouds us in
a curtain of certain beauty, enveloping us in warmth and comfort. I dont
think I could be any more content, and I cannot readily recall a time when I
was more at peace than at this moment.
16 March 1998
Yacumama Lodge, Rio Yarapa, Peru
This morning we woke at 5:30am, piled into a boat, and sailed up the Yarapa
River. The mornings here are exquisite, I have learned. I was astounded last
night at the music of the forest. It has a sweet symphony of its very own,
which plays all night, creating in itself a beauty which can only be heard
and felt, leaving everything else to the minds imagination. It sang me to
sleep last night, and woke me this morning. The sounds of the river are
extraordinary as well. The mist that created a veil around us was incredibly
thick, and all around were the noises and cries of monkeys, frogs, and
nearly 15 species of birds. I could not have imagined a more invigorating
start to our day.
What a fantastic day! Today we explored the canopy tower, searching for
local species, taking the air and sights, writing up rapid assessments, and,
the most exciting of all, we zip-lined! From the top of the tower, 115 feet
off the ground, we zip-lined to a remote access platform, 90 feet off the
ground. A challenge of mind, body, spirit and fearI have never before felt
more accomplished and proud than I do at this moment. I feel different
somehow, changed in a way that is both subtle and shocking to myself. Each
day here provides something exciting and new, a new perspective on my very
own life. The power of the rainforest has yet again presented itself.
18 March 1998
Puerto Miguel, Peru
I cannot write my feelings for I am so overcome with emotion that my pencil
and my writing cannot express it at this moment. Only facts: we traded; we
boughtfrom people who knew only their village, who were poor, who were
sick. Children went to a school that was a room, and no one knew their poverty.