In the middle of lunch, my father looked into my eyes and asked who I was. This question stopped me in my tracks. For a moment, I forgot my father’s illness. Instead, I remembered that he was responsible for naming me.
I grew up on a farm in Puerto Rico where I experienced the full cycle of life. My days were filled with domestic dogs, cats, goats, pigs, hens, and rabbits. As I took care of these animals, I learned to love them. In particular, I welcomed the miracle of life with every new litter of animals. I also encountered grief as I mourned the creatures when they died. Amazingly, my nights were filled with different entities. Lions, cheetahs, giraffes, leopards, elephants, monkeys, and many other exotic animals visited my dreams. Since childhood, I have been dreaming about the African wildlife. Until now.
I was fortunate to visit Tanzania during this summer. Through the eye of my camera I captured African animals, not to mention a multitude of bright colored birds. Besides the magnificent wildlife and spectacular Tanzanian vistas, something unexpected captured my attention: A tree. Not a regular tree, but instead, a wish tree. This beautiful tree had a large opening in its center. “People come here and pray to the wish tree,” a Tanzanian man told me. “Women who desire to become pregnant climb up the tree and enter its trunk,” he said with a mysterious smile. “The sacred tree always grants females their wish. “...
I like to travel several paths. As a seeker, I know that I am not alone. I welcome you to this blog and invite you to journey with me. Our paths may be different—or maybe not. I can best introduce myself as a traveler. Although you and I may be different from each other, perhaps we travel the same road.
Curiously, I like to be in the borderlands. Between here and there. In such crossing spaces I feel both like an outsider and an insider—familiar, and yet, stranger. This duality has accompanied me all my life. At first, finding my way was difficult. When I was a child, I tried to believe what I was taught. However, my religious education fed my mind at the expense of my heart. I was thirsty for something that I did not know. It was not until I became a woman that I found myself. Spirituality, instead of religion, seemed to quench my yearning. My forebears’ teachings showed me the way. Mind, heart, and body connected when I remembered my ancestral knowledge. I am indebted to my ancestors’ exploration.
I come from a tribe of seekers who traveled with empty pockets. My ancestors journeyed with their hearts full of wonder and their souls deep with dreams. Throughout their travels, they incorporated diverse traditions into their beliefs. My forbears spiced up their life with a mix of Christianity, Native American (Taíno), Gypsy (Romany), and African (Yoruba) practices. Whenever I summon them, I try to reconcile multiple traditions by searching for their common elements....