Friday, December 21, 2007

Colombian Journey - The Gift of Herons and Children


Dear friends,

During this season of joy and celebration, I’d like to share with you two of my favorite gifts from Colombia – herons and children.

In February, a friend suffered a very traumatic experience and had to flee from the region. After I heard about her situation, I went up to the terrace roof of the social organizations’ building here in Saravena to seek comfort by watching the sunset. The sky was hazy and there wasn’t much of a sunset; but then, suddenly, white herons started flying by on their way to roost for the evening. I saw hundreds of herons pass within a mile of the building and dozens flew overhead! In the midst of the suffering caused by violent men, it was very soothing to see that Nature was still continuing her dance.

For the next several weeks, I went up to the roof every afternoon at sunset to receive the blessing of the herons. This month of December marks the beginning of the dry season here in the state of Arauca and that’s the best time to see the herons – at dawn and dusk. I took the attached photo on the morning of December 2 - I hope it brings you some sense of the beauty and peace that also exist here in Arauca.

When I was in Bogotá in October, a psychiatrist prescribed an antidepressant (Paroxetine) as a way to deal with the trauma that I’ve witnessed and continue to witness. Fortunately, there’s a very skilled therapist here in Saravena that utilizes natural healing techniques. Alejandra is four-years-old and she prescribed skipping every evening.

As I mentioned before (Colombian Journey – Celebration; November 4, 2007), Alejandra and her family live just a couple blocks from the social organizations’ building. When I returned here last year, she would greet me by shouting “Gringo!” and waving. One evening, as I was returning from my favorite pizzeria, she ran to the corner to meet me. She was so excited that she started skipping back to her home and, fortunately, I had the good sense to skip along with her! That has now become our evening ritual and we’ll often skip along the entire block!

Earlier this month, after skipping with her to the corner, Alejandra told me that she had just had a birthday. On my way back after dinner, I talked with her family and they told me that she had turned four. I returned the next morning and gave her a photo that I had taken of the Canadian Rockies as a present. On the back I wrote, “Thank you very much for skipping with me.” While I was there, I took the attached photo of my skipping buddy.

May the beauty and joy of herons and children be with you during the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

In love, joy, and solidarity.

Scott
Community Action for Justice in the Americas

13 comments:

CAJA said...

We love you Scott!

Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

This is the most beautiful post. Blessings to Scott and Alejandra.

troutsky said...

Greetings Amigo,

Looks like you have a great friend, and a wise one. It is peaceful here in the Bitterroot,lots of snow in the mountains and the river starting to freeze over.You can try to describe that to Alejandra! Between the Wobblies and the cajistas we are still stirring things up around here. Take care and Feliz Navidad. Ps Char says Hello!
Dave

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