My secret refuge high above the trees of Yucatan.
There is a place that I go to in my mind whenever there is a need for a shut-down. It is called Nohoch Mul, a pyramid built by natives a long time ago on the southern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, near Cancun, Mexico. It has probably been overrun by tourists by now, but when we were there years ago it was still in a pure state of ruin, cleared only of enough vines to allow stout-hearted climbers a relatively open path.
I had been to the Mexican pyramids before, but not this particular place… COBA When I saw the great pyramid, I knew that I HAD to climb to the top. I am terrified of heights, so when my husband looked up and found me half way up the pyramid he was bemused. In fact… I was already wondering how I was going to get back down…but I was committed at that point, and concentrated on reaching the top. The last step is the worst, as there is usually nothing to hold onto.
Once my knees stopped shaking, and it became apparent just how far below was the ground, and looking down at the tops of the big old fir trees, I gazed around in a circle. As far as I could see was jungle, with an occasional bump of another pyramid peeking above the trees. There was a small building on top of the pyramid, made of stone, empty.
For a few minutes I was alone at the top, in awe at the beauty and air of ancient times. This is the moment that has endured in my memory and the magic place that I go to when necessary to be free of all earthly concerns.
The next person who appeared over the edge was a man with a camera, a biologist or anthropologist (or just a guy with a camera.) He went to the little building, reached inside one of the niches and pulled out — a BAT. It was sleeping, since it was middle of the day. To my amazement he took a pair of tweezers from his bag, and removed a tick from the bat’s mouth, saying that ticks were unhealthy for bats.
I made it back down the pyramid without having to call the local EMS helicopter, and lived happily ever after.