Monday, June 7, 2010

Who is June-Elena?

Who is June-Elena? To my friends and family I am June, my name as given in 1943. I was actually born in April, but my Mom held to her romantic idea of June being the month of the roses, and named me for that regardless. I’ve always felt June to be a bit of denial of my real identity, but Mom stuck to her guns. 

Elena was born for me during the 80’s. I was searching for what seemed to be missing in my life and trying on different New Age concepts in whatever form they happened to come to me.

Somehow I came into possession of a tape of guided imagery called “Past Life Regression.” I was skeptical, but still halfway thought I might really see a past lifetime. Actually, I was a bit spooked – what if it did work? Did I really want to know? Maybe something dark would be revealed that I really would be better off not knowing.

One evening, my curiosity got the better of me. I settled into bed, adjusting the pillow so that I could be comfortable with the earphones. I pulled a sheet up over me, put the tape in the player and clicked it on. The player made whirring sounds and the swamp cooler hummed, blasting out humid air. It was summer in Tucson.

“You are beginning to relax deeply” the tape said. I took a deep breath and felt my arms and legs melting into the bed. I followed the instructions into relaxation, a trance, whatever it was. The room became distant and the sound of the player dominated my awareness.

 “What do you see?” the tape asked. A vague image of a thin woman with long black hair came to me. She was dressed in native garb and was toiling in the fields. (No lifetimes as Cleopatra for this kid!!) I had the sense that her life was hard and lonely…maybe she had a few kids out there in the countryside, and they were just barely surviving.

“What is your name?” the tape asked. The name Elena popped into my head. The next thing I recall was the snapping sound of the tape ending. I must have drifted off to sleep.

The next morning I pondered what had happened. I was not sure that this was real or just a product of my imagination. Eventually I wrote it off. Even if I knew for sure it was a past life, what would I do with that information?? It didn’t change my present life one way or the other.

Perhaps 6 months later, Dan and I decided to visit Alamos in Mexico. It was a small colonial town in the mountains south of Guaymas Sonora. I wanted to go to the beach, but Dan wanted to see something different. Guess who won?

Driving into town, we found wonderful old buildings and cobblestone streets. We had no hotel reservations, so we began to walk in search of lodging. We found a gorgeous hotel with thick adobe walls. It was laid out with rooms around a square, a courtyard in the middle. I instantly loved it. When I asked the proprietress for a key, she told us that keys were not needed. As she walked us to our room, I noticed that the rooms all had women’s names instead of numbers. She walked us directly to the room called “ELENA!” and opened the door.

I was speechless. What did this mean? Elena, whether real or imaginary began to come to life for me. I don’t remember all that much about Alamos, but Elena became more than a curiosity.

I still don’t know if I really saw into a past life, or even if there is such a thing as past lives. But somehow, Elena has become a part of me. I can feel her presence inside me in Mexico. It is a familiar, at home feeling that comes when we cross the frontera heading south. It is especially strong in Banamichi. I am at ease there in a way I don’t understand.

I walk the streets of Banamichi and feel a deep comfort. I go into the tiny grocery stores or the city offices and chat with the clerks. I hug people who know me. I smile at everyone and say “Buenos Dias.” They smile back. They wave at me in the street. I feel like I belong here.

I think it is Elena who feels so at home in Banamichi. It was she who was born into this culture, she who feels an affinity for the warm sunny climate, for the bright red of ristras of chiles. She loves the spicy food, the bright colors and the warmth and vibrancy of the people.

Elena is part of me. I can’t explain it, but somehow this is true.

1 comment:

  1. Well you are certainly getting the hang of this blogging thing. This looks and reads great! Excellent June. I like your pictures too! Keep those stories coming!