Sunday, May 30, 2010


How in the heck did I get here anyway?? I feel like Scotty has beamed me up to Banamichi and I cannot recollect the process.

I’ve had this feeling that is the opposite of déjà vu a number of times in my life – eating beans on toast on a canal boat somewhere in Wales, standing in a temple singing the evening arati in the village of Ganeshpuri in India, and now, here in Banamichi, sitting in my backyard paradise, watching the world be re-born in the cool of the morning.

It is a feeling of abrupt disconnect and strangeness. Everything around me suddenly appears alien, and I am aware that I have pushed myself into a new and different dimension of experience.

I’ve always thought that it is good to take risks and put myself in drastically new situations. It stretches the limits of the concepts I hold about myself and life. It forces my brain to wrap itself around other ways of being, and it increases my tolerance for and integration of “the other” – that which seems different and separate from me.

This process is not always comfortable, but is always good. More and more I am able to take the world into myself and identify with all places and beings. I feel my mind and my heart expanding.

Still, that begs the question: “How did I get to Banamichi anyway?” On the one hand, it is all my friend Rene’s fault. Rene’ has never been to Banamichi, but still, she is the agent of the chain of causality that led us here. Because she asked us, Dan and I went to Rizhao, China to teach English. Because of her asking, Bill Harmsen and his wife Irma Rojo went to Rizhao, China to teach English. We met. Rene’ was the culprit!

 We heard about their hotel in this lovely little town in the Rio Sonora Valley called Banamichi. Quite a mouthful to pronounce – the accent being on the second “a.”

Half a year later in Tucson, we were bored and decided on a whim to go visit this legendary place. The Hotel Posada Del Rio Sonora was stunning with its colorful courtyard, beautiful plants and folk art from all over the world. I felt at home in a place that recognized the beauty of all different traditions.

But the town itself was magical. From the central square to the back streets, I instantly recognized the tranquility and sweet energy of the place. It felt good here. The air smelled good. Birds sang, roosters crowed, and cowboys rode their horses through the town. Everything seemed a little bit clearer and purer than it should. I fell in love with the place.

We visited several more times. I loved the remoteness of the town – two hours from almost anywhere. I loved sitting on the patio of the hotel, watching the sunset and drinking in peace. I loved the friendliness of the people – everyone waving or saying “Buenos dias” as they passed.

When Bill and Irma said they might have a small piece of property for sale, I felt that God was calling out to us to buy it – to accept the gift that was being offered. It made no logical sense. We had just refurbished and redecorated the Tucson house, we were retired and getting older –for what did we need a second house? And yet the draw was irresistible. For once we threw caution to the winds and bought the place.

And now, two years later, I sit in my morning garden watching the long slanted light with a sense of disconnect. I tell the story, step by step how I arrived here, and yet it seems like a miracle - an inexplicable happening of being transported from the known to the unknown. That’s good. I am stretching and growing again.

 Spidey update: They’re gone!! One day I wrote about them, and the next day, every one of them was gone. Something to do with the coming of the real heat, I imagine. Nature has turned on her blast furnace now, and most animals hunker down to wait for the rains.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely June. I love the picture in the header of your blog. Banamichi continues to come alive to me with your showing. I love your exploration of your self and your expansion in this piece. Love ya June!