Sunday night in Alewa Heights

Sunday night. The neighbor's dog is barking incessantly at one of the other's neighbor's exccessively numerous cats. Another neighbor is harping her blooming preteen and teen daughters to change the station they are watching or turn the television off. I have been at Kailua Beach all day for a regatta, one race after another since 8AM, in relentless winds and blowing sand. I didn't get to race as punishment for being away for three weeks... Now two other dogs are answering the first dog's frustrating yap. What kind of network of meaning is this?

I remember dusk at Machu Picchu and the calling of a small bird who shared the ending of one world and the beginning of another with me. It was not of the grandeur of a condor, not brightly colored or flashy, just a small, humble bird with an honest voice, a good singer. It stood on the corner stone of the fabulous Inca architecture and sang out over a deep, sonorous valley. Another of his kind answered from somewhere on the other side of the mountain, and then another and another. And so they went until dark, making a lattice-work of song. Night came like that.

That's what stays deeply with me from my journey to San Miguel de Tucuman, Amaicha, Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu, Iquitos and the Amazon, in Peru.

Also two other images: 1- from the train window heading to Machu Picchu from Cusco, a black pig running down a dirt road with a rope dragging behind him, and 2-5 A.M. in the Lima Airport domestic check-in area as I stand in line, half-asleep for a flight to Iquitos: eight cardboard cartons and two plastic totes of roosters, and the unmistakable sound of crowing in the airport.

Now suddenly quiet: no anxious parent quarreling with children, no barking, but the chuk chuk of a gecko and the tap tap of the computer keys.

The earth can teach us everything we need to know.

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