deep roots

Even with the sun still shining, I could feel the shift in pressure, the promise in the breeze. It is such a deep feeling, knowing that comes with clear body memory. Much needed rain was on its way. For some reason the image of sitting with my childhood shoebox full of gum wrappers in lap came to mind, the sound of wind high in the trees, remembering how much I loved the space of humid wet gray to settle in and advance the length of my paper chain. Lily was coming for a visit with baby Jack and I was beginning to prepare, wondering if we would be able to get a walk in before the weather changed, excited to be making chicken coconut curry again. It had been one of Molly’s requested meals while in Cusco and it felt completely natural to want to nourish daughter of the heart Lily the same way. Vacuuming, dusting, and playing sous chef in the kitchen

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became the prelude to getting out for a romp with Nora in the woods I call myself steward of.  It would be a short walk, just enough to flex the muscles and feel the change out there too.

The water level in the brook is now so low that only the deepest and widest reservoirs in the rock bed hold wet.

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It’s disconcerting, the feeling that there has been no obvious replenishing of the source. Here, so much hard gray is now exposed. I know it must just be a surface illusion though,  because just yards away from this barren brook, there is still plenty of moisture feeding roots that extend deep into the earth to keep the woods so lush and green.

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Stones are not really so hard, their roots are deep inside, drawing into them what they need. I think I am a little bit like these stones. I keep feeling for the the loving channels that allow nourishment to find home, the ones that actually function as roots deep inside.

Since I moved across the river, I don’t see Lily as often as I used to. Even so, she was one of the first calls I made in the car on the way to the airport to fly to Cusco. After sharing the shocking news of Molly’s crisis, I said Ben and I wouldn’t be able to attend Jack’s first birthday party after all. But she wanted Ben there, and went to pick him up the morning of the party anyway so he could spend the day celebrating with them. She and her husband Jay love Ben, have made him a central part of their lives in a way that feels true.

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I first met Lily when we moved into the house across the street in Amherst seventeen years ago. She was only fifteen years old, less than a decade older than my own two children at the time. Lily has known Ben half her life, has become an exemplary special education teacher, and after years of being connected as neighbor, baby sitter, and companion, is now a devoted adult friend. Out walking after supper, Lily turned her attention to where I am in my life here, giving me an opportunity to reflect on the solitude in a place where I feel the deep roots that I do in one moment, then share in the fun of spontaneously intersecting with neighbors who have become my community the next. We reminisced about the incredible time we all had at her wedding four years ago, how easy it was for Ben to be his charming self with everyone there because of the safety that she and Jay have always created for him to be exactly who he is. And in the course of our time together last night I watched how she seamlessly created this same space for her own son Jack, for him to explore, react, and just be.

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He is a happy, open little boy who finds his way into connection without fear. More than ever, especially with toddler pup Yogi in the house, who is also ripe for learning to be the secure and happy being he can be, I am reminded of the power of simple attention, of how important it is to feel the safety net of a loving teaching presence when we need it.

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I don’t think I’ve ever felt the arms of a one year old reach out, enclose, and actually hug the way Jack does.

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He shared his magic with Molly when we skyped later, becoming acquainted with her through smiles and finger touches on a screen. Amazing how seamless communication has become in this age, to allow us all to truly be together in that moment.

Having a presence like Lily in my life is like having a deep root inside that stretches through time. The flow of time spent together may wax and wane like the flow of water in a brook of stones, but it doesn’t take much, just a simple heartfelt visit, for the water that is there to find its nourishing way.

blessed summer

I just let the dogs out in the noonday sun. They sprinted to the edge of the meadow together, a strip of lawn that now holds numerous bones and toys, patches of pee stained burnt grass and a huge hole, so big now that even these two have given digging a rest. Nora found her spot to stretch out and take in a full measure of heat. Yogi stood quietly just to one side of her and then with no warning at all, literally threw his toddler body fully on top of her to begin another round of play. Big laugh out load. What fun it is to watch these two. It is gratifying to see them so bonded. I do wonder if Nora ever gets exhausted from it all, even in her own insatiable need to expend energy.

It’s been five days since I arrived home to Massachusetts. Five days to transition from Peruvian winter to Massachusetts summer. Five days of wondering when I would be able to engage with the work that is pressing, deadline looming, to settle back into the rhythm I remember before I left for Peru. I have had to let go of thinking this would all come back right away, or that life would even be the same. Being back in the tangled happy energy of Nora and Yogi on the one hand let me ignore the exhaustion for a few days. But on the other hand, being human mom to these two can just as exhausting as having two young children all over again. I can’t ignore it any longer. Yesterday’s morning nap, just hours after arising was a big clue. I simply had to stop, all the while wondering why I couldn’t accept just being still to do nothing.

Wonder is the word that keeps coming. Wondering how the meadow could have become such a beautiful summer field of wildflowers in such a short time.

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Wonder at seeing Yogi, doubled during the weeks I was away, now in the arms of Sam,

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son of my heart, born just two months before Molly, and who came to JFK to get me and drive me all the way home. Wonder at the sweetness of Yogi and Nora’s developing relationship.

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My garden, just planted and barely sprouted in early June before I left, has more than doubled in growth and is now miraculously filled with food. The seeds in the ground have become fully formed radishes and beds of spicy arugula. The seedlings began inside in April are now full heads of dark green bok choy leaves on full tender stalks. One little collard green plant gives me a huge beautiful leaf to dine on each day. The small yellow squash plants found at my local market have exploded into giants with blossoms that promise abundant first picks there soon as well.

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Broccoli heads are forming and bean plants are sending out their multiple shoots, looking for places to climb. My beloved parsley is burgeoning and ready for consumption as well. It is a cornucopia. I can feed myself daily fresh from just this small garden, and wonder why I still dream of bigger and more.

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I have fallen into wondering out loud about the health and happiness of my children, wondering about my role in this process in the space between us, they in their adult lives there, me in my beyond mid-life here. I visited Ben at his school yesterday to see him perform in the newly formed ‘house band’ and wondered yet again about the future of this enthusiastically energetic young man who plays his heart out, hands beating the drum he sits confidently with, as connected and as much a part of community as I could ever wish, even as a witness to his ability to take responsibility for his own happiness.

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He gave me a tour of the on campus apartment he recently moved into with his new roommate Mark, proudly showing me the living room cabinet, neatly filled with his collection of DVD’s to share, the refrigerator filled with his breakfast things, which he now prepares and eats here for himself each morning. Even with so much wonderful progress, it seems wondering about his well-being will never go away. It’s like his birth during one of the biggest heat waves NYC had seen in years. I went into overdrive upon hearing the news of his diagnosis and never really felt the heat of summer for years after. It took fifteen years to reckon with the exhaustion that developed in the process of ensuring he had every chance at well-being. Fifteen years to see how much support there really was around us all. Fifteen years to claim the space I too needed to heal and accept that it was okay to claim this space.

Now, I wonder about Molly and her clear choice to remain in Peru, ‘I’m not done here Mom’ she tells me and I feel the truth of this, always proud of her ability and resolve to take responsibility for her own knowing and trust. She struggles being her empathic self there too, sharing tears or fear openly is simply not the Peruvian way. She is constantly being told there that she is too sensitive. From the moment I entered the hospital there, I was encouraged to keep my emotion in check, to embody calm and confidence for the sake of Molly’s healing. Molly was encouraged to see and feel the positive in her situation at all times. It was consistent. I witnessed this pervading sense of acceptance and moving beyond fear in a positive attitude from everyone I met, doctors, nurses, boyfriend and family, co-workers, even other patients. Molly eventually even modeled this acceptance for me. She gave me the best possible platform for being an effective mom.

By the time I left her there in Cusco, it had started to feel a bit like home to me too. I get it. But I didn’t make space for letting go to the shock and worry that had fueled my flight there. Whatever fear I had felt settled with me as I settled with her into her life there. Only now, back in this place I now call home, only now after five days of systematically letting go of my thinking that I could jump right back in, am I able to give in to the exhaustion and, as much as able with these two furry creatures who need to be attended to as well, let exhaustion run it’s course. I’m taking my cue from Nora.

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I’ve been looking at fear in a new way every morning since I left for Peru a month ago. Really looking at it straight in the eye, praying for it to pass as quickly as it appears. Because it is exhausting to hold onto fear for any length of time.

There are simple things to enjoy like a plate of lightly dressed fresh picked vegetables, a perfect mound of rice one would find on the plate of any Peruvian meal, and a few packed in olive oil sardines to balance the meal. It’s no wonder that food, and its easy comfort, plays such an important role in rest.

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Blessed summer. It’s good to find the wonder again…

casa to casa

The past four days have presented a whole new rhythm. With Molly now settled back in her own ‘casa’, my path each day is no longer dominated by cab rides back and forth from the hospital. I now spend a little more time each morning enjoying the uniqueness of the casa I have been a guest in, watching the sun make its presence known each morning,

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setting into another level of familiarity with my hosts, Walter and his papa, Señor Felix, so generous in their greetings and enthusiasm for each day.

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In a breakthrough conversation with Walter, each of us with our smartphone translators in hand, I wasn’t surprised to learn that Señor Felix has Alzheimer’s. Each morning I have been sharing the kitchen with him as he methodically opens and closes drawers, sorting the same things each day, gently talking to himself, hovering. I recognized the simple act of just sharing a space in comfort with another human being without a word being spoken. I shared with Walter about my years of caring for Gramma as her brain also began to change, endeavoring to express appreciation for how elegantly he seems to be caring for his papa from what I had been witnessing, the consistency of respect and gentle reminder that characterizes his communication with his father. A connection was made. A little later, Walter came to sit with me in my bench as I was knitting, wanting to tell me a bit more about the history of their casa. He began by telling me there is buried treasure under the courtyard that is built on top of Incan ruins. We talked a bit about the spirit of Pachamama here, and the power of the metal and bone shaped by another time that lies deep with in her. He shared that he has actually seen the light of this treasure bubble up through the ground like moonlight, at exactly one o’clock in the morning one day, pointing to a place right across from the door to my room. And then we laughed together when I said this must be why I sleep so well here. With very few more words, I understood this was a sacred place.

When I pass through the thick wooden door of this casa that has been my home for the past eleven days, the trajectory to Molly’s apartment now leads me through the core of history in this ancient Incan city and down streets that offer uniques views,

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through the Plaza de Armas, and across a myriad variety of squares and public places to be. The past four days have also been a continuous festival of dancing, parades, magnificent floats honoring the spirit of Incan culture,

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and music, all to celebrate the history of the Incan Empire in these days approaching solstice. Each morning I have descended into a world of color and ceremony, proud faces carrying the multicolored flag with reverence, traditional costumes of all ages practicing and preparing to participate in the parade that lasts all day.

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Molly’s casa is an apartment buried within a collection of apartments that gather around a different sort of courtyard, filled with all manner of simple daily life, laundry, potted plants, and the voices of many generations that traverse across and up the two flights of stairs to her entrance. Her apartment has a bank of windows facing south that bring the midday sun streaming into a solarium type space, filtering through thick plaster arches into her living room. We take a late morning walk out in the neighborhood each day to feel this sun directly on our bodies, seeing where this insistent sun makes art along the way.

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We stop to share a coffee and carrot cake in one of her favorite little places,

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then return to sit and enjoy the afternoon light here too, visiting and sharing a midday meal with friends, knitting, simply resting in place. One of Molly’s many food cravings while she was in the hospital was for shrimp scampi. What she really wanted was the rich buttery sauce to dip fresh bread in. Yesterday was the the day. We bought six loaves of crusty bread from her neighborhood bakery during our morning outing, Her boyfriend Ivan returned from the market with tiny fresh shrimp and a bagful of red radishes. For an hour, the small kitchen held the energy of Molly, Ivan and and his brother Bryan peeling shrimp, squeezing fresh lines, finely mincing an entire head of fresh garlic, and thinly slicing radishes for salad.

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At the last moment we decided to make small pieces of the chicken breast waiting in the refrigerator. Then they all left to prepare a table for the meal, while I added the garlic, lime juice and some white wine to melted butter in a pan just big enough to hold the shrimp, chicken and extra sauce. Missing corkscrew sent Molly over to a neighbor to open the bottle of red wine. Food was placed and oh, what a sight.

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We truly feasted. A meal to remember. Every last piece of bread was dipped in the rich sauce, each tender piece of chicken and shrimp and lightly dressed radish consumed with mmmmmm’s and ahhhhh’s and the silent lip smacking noises of food being thoroughly enjoyed.

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Followed by lazy hours of a Cusquenean afternoon. As Molly and I parted in the evening for return back to my casa, we hugged fiercely, knowing it would be one of our last before my flight home, pulling away with smiles and “it was a good day.”

I walked home through the last hurrah of celebration, streets filled with food vendors, shops and restaurants bustling with business, the plaza now teeming with what must have been half of Cusco there for a big rock music style concert, only this was the rocking rhythm of traditional Peru bassanova style that left the crowd swaying to its rhythm. Back in my room at the casa, I imagined the ancient Incans also swaying in celebration in the energy of earth below me, as the boom and crackle of fireworks signaled the end of the celebration.

My flight is out tonight. I can’t even think of that last hug with Molly without tears, without a swell of emotion that will hopefully settle as I find my rhythm again in my very own casa in Massachusetts.

tranquility

Molly was told last week that she will need to be on bed rest for at least a month, maybe longer, after she is discharged from the hospital. It took a few days of digesting this information, simultaneously with the fact that Molly was becoming stronger and stronger each day, before we began to question exactly what form bed rest needed to take. Molly asked the attending doctor over the weekend and received the answer that she needed ‘tranquility’, removed from as much stress as possible.

I suppose just staying in the hospital indefinitely, removed from the hustle and bustle of city life outside, disconnected from her own life in ways that could create context for rest like the sanatoriums of the old days, might be one interpretation that could serve. I want to believe that the slow pace at which things move in this hospital and the extra time everything takes is a subtle form of this. I see the remarkable progress Molly has made in a week and know she is anxious to get back to her life, but I understand the doctors recommendation at the same time. She made a remarkable recovery after suffering severe pulmonary embolism. She will need to adapt to many changes in her life and it will take time to ease into this while she continues to heal.

I try to bring tranquility to the hospital with me each day. Before I leave each morning, I sit on the bench outside my room in the courtyard, belly full of hot coffee and fresh rolls with butter and strawberry jam, and knit. The sun begins to enter the courtyard during this time, signaling that strange but warming combination of contentment and anticipation that comes with each morning. The scarf I am knitting is with hand spun and dyed alpaca wool I found in an artisan shop one of my first days here.

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The feel of the soft wool is a balm. The colors are dark and vibrant and I play with combining two colors at a time, feeling the flow of transition from one section to the next as much as I can see it. I sit at Molly’s bedside and knit. While we talk, while she eats, while she chats with her roommates, while she sleeps.

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I see such peace in her beautiful face as she rests.

I try to bring tranquility back into the streets of Cusco with me as I walk around in search of a place to have my evening meal. I don’t have to go far. I found a sweet little restaurant in San Blas just at the top of the stone steps that begin across the street from my lodging.

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I was drawn in by the fire in the large clay oven at the back adjacent to the small efficient open kitchen.

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Kitchens in Peru are very different than what I am used to. In a home or apartment here you will typically find just a two burner cooktop, a counter, some shelves, and a small sink with running water. Refrigerators are rare. Ovens even rarer, except for the formed dome clay style I saw in front of me now. The refrigerator in the small kitchen in Chascafe Restaurant is right under a small flat screen t.v which has a soccer channel playing. Unlike other restaurants which typically have larger screens of non-stop soccer playing with sound, I am grateful for the quiet, and pick a table up close to the fire, where I can watch the young couple/chefs do the culinary dance they do to make this restaurant work.

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I marvel at the economy of scale, ingredients and motion. On the wall there is just one shelf with a bottle of oil, a bowl or salt, and a few spices. There is just one rack with a few hooks for the wood utensils required, each one replaced on the hook immediately after being used. I couldn’t see the counter where food is chopped and prepared for cooking, but I could feel the economy there too.

I ordered one of the ‘menus’ offered, an economical alternative to a full fare and full portion meal, for only fifteen soles ($4.50). I am first served a plate of tequenos e guacamole. Two pieces of lightly fried rolled spears of bread dough with queso blanco (white cheese) in the middle next to a perfect amount of creamy guacamole. Next dish served is a good sized bowl of steaming hot creama de chocolo, a light soup made from the large kernel corn called chocolo. I savor each warm fragrant spoonful, careful to eat it all before it gets cold. While waiting for my pollo ala plancha, I am served a small glass of Pisco sour, a Pervian classic made with the colorless brandy produced in winemaking regions of Peru and Chile, lemon or citrus juice, sweetner, and egg white. I wondered about ordering pollo ala plancha yet again, the simple dish of grilled chicken fillet with rice that I’d already had at least four times in the past week, satisfying but otherwise inspiring. And was pleasantly surprised at this version being placed in front of me here, the chicken obviously covered with a mix of spices that turned this ordinarily bland meal into something special. It was all just the right amount of food, and accompanied with the kind of entertainment I like too, being able to watch the swift non-stop movements of these two cooks, how the fire in the open oven was pushed to one side to make a baking slab for a flat round of dough to bubble up in no time, the grabbing of bowls from the shelf to add this or that to a steaming pot, the refrigerator opened to retrieve the next round of ingredients, the sounds of chopping, sizzling, and clinking, all moments before one them emerges with the next plate to be delivered.

The restaurant began to fill just as I was leaving. And yet the street outside was eerily quiet, silent but for the distant sound of taxi horns.

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I began walking back down the grand stone steps and took in the soft light I was descending down into, framed by the twinkle of lights in the hills beyond.

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These moments of finding myself alone with the stone constructions of this ancient city continue to fill me with awe. And tranquility.

Now, a day later, the tides have shifted again and Molly has been discharged. She is home sleeping in her own bed, eating food of her own choosing again, easing into her new rhythm. We will spend these next days together, and with her friends, to establish the context for her to continue to heal with tranquility. I’m still hoping to finish knitting my scarf to wear for at least a day or two before I leave.

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engaging with Cuzco

Two days ago I moved from the very well appointed four star hotel located right on Plaza De Armas to a family run ‘hospedaje’ lodging house. When I first arrived in Cuzco, in shock and not at all sure where I would be staying, Mery, the owner of the travel company Molly has begun working for, made it possible for me to stay in this lovely hotel for about a third the cost. Being there, I didn’t have to really engage with anything except my bed, the fabulous shower, the abundant breakfast buffet, and the daily cab rides back and forth from the hospital. But once Molly turned the corner and we settled into a routine I knew it was time to shift into a deeper engagement with Cuzco.

Our friendship with Molly’s roommate Aurelia had begun to deepen. When I arrived with skeins of yard and three sets of needles three days ago, I could see she was interested. She claimed to have never actually knit anything before. She is a strong caring personality, a career nurse with three specialties. She had just received some disturbing news about her condition that day and finally, needing a distraction, came over to ask if she could knit a few of my rows. She may never have actually knit an entire project before, but this woman knew how to knit! After she deftly and expertly made a few stitches, I wordlessly handed her the third set of needles and a skein of yarn. I don’t think she looked up for hours. The third roommate Paulina was discharged shortly after and for a short sweet while it was just Aurelia, Molly and me knitting feverishly and silently.

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At some point the conversation began again. We discovered that Aurelia’s husband is also an architect, and that his family home is now a lodging house in the town center. I met her husband Edgar later that day and it was decided, with very little overlap between their Spanish and my English, that I would relocate to their hospedaje on Calle Choquechaca the next day.

I feel like I am home. One of the first phrases I asked Molly to help me with during my daily Spanish lesson yesterday was ‘me gusto el clima frio y ester afuera’ (I like cool temperatures and being outside). It is one of the first things I would like to say to my generous hosts about how much i am enjoying, after just one day, the beautiful courtyard my ground floor room opens onto,

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how well I slept my first night here under three blankets, that it is just like being in my country hilltown home where it is cool all the time in the house and that I sleep under three blankets there too.

Except that I am in Peru. And here in this ancient city home, I am able to absorb a bit of time and place that is distinct, like no where else in the world. It’s a little like I have come to feel being in the hospital each day. I know all the guards who let me through each morning to go be with Molly. I have come to know my way around this big place, know where the best bathroom is to use, where to find the thermoses of hot tea to fill Molly’s mug with, am familiar with all the faces of doctors and nurses I see daily on her floor. Mostly it is the ease and comfort that I feel being there, I have become part of this culture in a strange way, I am the mama, who doesn’t speak Spanish but is here to care for her gringa daughter nonetheless.

Yesterday was another turning point. I arrived to find Molly sitting cross legged on her bed, free of all tubes. The decision had been made to try a day without oxygen since she is doing so well. Her clean hair was brushed and falling in soft waves around her animated face, ‘look Mom, at the progress I have made on my scarf!’

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Discharge is imminent. Maybe Monday or Tuesday. Molly will have to be on bedrest for a bit once she is home, but she is so excited to get home. Her home here. We talked about the option of her coming back to the states with me, but no, this is home for her now and this is where she will stay with the support of so many friends and colleagues who love her so.

I arrived back at the hospedaje, located equidistant between Plaza de Armas and the San Blas neighborhood I got to know so well visiting Molly in her apartment there four years ago. It was late afternoon. Going into San Blas involves walking straight up, streets of stone steps that lead to yet another way of being, kind of like the Berkeley of Cusco, with views that say, yes, I am very high up.

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Evidence of counterculture, musicians lining the steps at the top of the San Blas plaza steps, jamming, making a steady stream of animated sound that flows amongst the crafts persons selling their wares, neighborhood residents, and tourists alike. I found my way into a shop that I frequented all those years ago after getting to know the beautiful owner, a mother with two young children, and her desire to share her culture though beautifully made things. Now four years later, I found the shop much the same, clearly she had settled in, shelves and walls deeper now with beautiful unique sweaters, scarves, antique weavings, and the signature jewelry that is her husband’s trade. Four years collapsed save for the young girl, maybe eight or nine years old, who greeted me, asking in Spanish if she could help me with anything. The image of her mother. I spent languid moments looking, touching, and admiring what was there. Realizing that a shop like this is an oasis for me, in a place where every other storefront is filled with too many of the same kinds of things, creating the kind of overwhelm that typically prevents me from going into any of them.

San Blas is also full of art. I was drawn into a gallery dedicated to Peruvian tapestry artist Maximo Laura. The feeling was not dissimilar to walking into a gallery full of Van Gogh’s when I was fourteen years and didn’t know who Van Gogh was. Except I had actually met Maximo Laura years ago when he gave a talk and presentation at the Fiber Arts Center in Amherst Massachusetts. I was in awe then and in newly formed awe again now, two floors or walls covered with his vibrant and evocative pieces.

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Walking back down the narrow stone street to Calle Choquechaca, it was growing dusk,

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I passed the bakery run by nuns that Molly and I would go to for the most amazing pastries and rolls years ago. There it was, just the same, and I made a mental note to get there in the next few days to get some of those pastries for Molly.

back where dogs run free

I have been five days in Cusco Peru, arriving just 24 hours after twenty-five year old daughter Molly went into cardiac arrest from pulmonary emboli, blood clots in her lungs. This happened while she was actually in the hospital being tested for pneumonia. The medical staff at this hospital in Cusco saved her life, and she is thankfully in recovery.

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It is all so familiar.  After having spent two weeks living with Molly here four summers ago, I realize I know my way around, can truly feel the pulse of this amazing city that my daughter has made her home.

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But I had forgotten about the dogs. The dogs that roam freely, alone, in pairs, or in small groups. They are seen sleeping everywhere, romping together in the parks, negotiating traffic just like us humans. I asked Molly about the dogs and her response was to frown a bit. Not that she doesn’t love them. I remember four years ago seeing certain dogs follow her, be close as if they knew her and she wholeheartedly embraced this. She explained now her concern that the city does not take responsibility for these otherwise homeless creatures who are routinely turned out by owners for any number of reasons, left to find their own way. They eat off the street, copulate freely, and reproduce to create a whole new population of beings that flow through the streets as freely as the humans.

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I wake in the wee hours each morning to their barking. Ironically it sounds as natural here as the birds chirping back home, as much a part of the ambiance as the honking horns and music that I hear at all hours from my hotel room on the Plaza de Armas.

Molly is out of intensive care and back in the same room she was in before her attack to recover and determine next steps with the doctors here. Grateful for the input of medically trained family and friends who have helped validate that Molly is getting what she needs right now. We play gin rummy, a fun way to pass the time. We are also getting to know her two roommates, Aurelia and Paulina. They are both lovely women and even though we need Molly as translator, there is an ease of sharing space and life stories with these women. When Aurelia complained of a sore back, it felt completely natural to offer her my hands to ease some of the ache from sleeping on too hard mattresses, as I have been doing with Molly.

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Where I was originally surprised at the starkness of the room, I have come to appreciate the economy of how this hospital works. It is sparkling clean. I love the pitchers and thermoses of warm anise tea that is available at all times for patients. There is evidence of creative re-use of resources instead of waste. It is the closest to home cooked feeling hospital food I have ever seen. Molly displays her tolerance and acceptance beautifully and periodically gives in to moments of sadness, wanting to get back to her life. In our longs stretches of time together at the hospital, she shares the bits of her life that like little puzzle pieces coming together, begin to form a much clearer picture of who she is in this place. Her community of loved ones and friends come faithfully each day during visiting hours, and that is when I take my leave and go out to explore a little further on my own. Yesterday it was to find yarn and knitting needles so Molly and I can knit together.

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It’s almost time to go down for the lovely breakfast buffet that is included with my hotel stay here each day. Peruvians make fresh juice and you can find it everywhere. Molly’s favorite is a combination of papaya and orange and there the pitchers were yesterday, sparkling in the morning sun and beckoning for engagement.

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Just like Molly, full of life and passion and now, wisdom from an experience that will undoubtably change how she moves forward in her passion.