Yoga posture for the day: N/A – Our Yoga practice was simply basking in the glow of the Hummingbird community
Full slideshow of photos from the day
I know I already blogged briefly about Hummingbird a couple of nights ago, but, like any good reader of Wordsworth, I figured the best lessons and stories to share with you would be drawn from “emotion recollected in tranquility“. Or something like that 😉
Looking back on Hummingbird, it is still difficult to capture the experience that Than and I had there. The people we met were all remarkable in their own way, and each was remarkably hospitable and eager to delve into the metaphysics of the moment.
We were first greeted at Hummingbird by a younger guy about our age named Hassan, who, even though he had never met us, welcomed us with hugs and a smile. Right off the bat, synchronicity struck with almost frightening immediacy. As we told him about our travels through Kansas, we learned that Hassan had worked directly with Brady Karlin, the wonderfully helpful guy who had directed us to the Light Center (and who runs an incredible family farm near Lawrence Kansas). Not just that, but had worked with him in New Zealand, and then later had been invited out to Kansas when Brady initially acquired his ten acres of land from his grandparents.
From that moment on, it was clear that Hummingbird was a hub for serendipity: the sort of place that had been fashioned by the loving intention of its community members into a magnet for people with similar aspirations.
The first thing our host Dabo said to me when we arrived was “Hey there – I know you!”. He was convinced that we had met before, and we both laughed as we agreed it was “Good to meet again for the first time.” Another member of the community, Ami, had the same reaction when we shook hands.
As a side note: I have a birthmark on my right side above my stomach, and as a kid I always believed that one day I would venture out into the jungle, and find some tribe that would interpret the marking on my ribs as a sign of divinity (some people wanted to be fireman, others wanted to be what C-3PO was to the Ewoks – cut me some slack). All this is to say that my feeling upon being “recognized” by the members of Hummingbird was akin to this once hoped for acceptance from a sequestered tribe, far away from the reaches of normal society.
As we waited to join the evening potluck that we had (serendipitously?) stumbled into, Hassan took us on a quick hike up the mountainside to visit the debris hut he had been building, which he planned to live in for the winter time. As we admired his handiwork, he invited us to sit down, and we listened as he described his path, and the struggles that had brought him to this point in life. I resonated deeply with his search for purpose, and with his longing to figure out how exactly he could contribute positively to the universe. I told him of my time holding these difficult questions close to my own heart the past winter I spent on Peaks Island in Maine, and of the answers that had followed the void (answers that included things like this very road trip). It was the first of many such candid and earnest conversations.
Earnest perhaps is the best way to describe the Hummingbird community. The potluck kicked off at 6, and Than and I pulled together a tasty roast squash with roasted, honeyed apples placed where we had scooped out the seeds – props go to Shoshi London for teaching us the secret art of squash roasting (I was quite pleased with the presentation, but for whatever reason the squash took almost two hours to cook – any ideas why?). Before we dug in, everyone gathered in the kitchen and held hands in a circle. We went around in a circle and introduced themselves, and then Dabo’s wife Linda led everyone in a thoughtful prayer of thanks. It was an incredible spread – walnut and blue cheese salad, corn bread, vegetarian dal, bean casserole, plum compote, and a coconut cream pie (the only purchased item present). We had helped Hassan make deviled eggs earlier in the day, which got things started in a seriously delicious way.
From then on, it was just one meaningful and intent conversation to the next. Everyone wanted to know our story and to share their own, and everyone was focused, thoughtful, and joyful in our conversations. Than and I caught each other’s eye at certain points, and I felt like some ancient part of our brains was waking up, enabling an aboriginal telepathic understanding to pass between us. We smiled and chuckled – this was place was really something else.
To cap it all off, one of the founding members of the community, Makasha, invited us back to his place with a few other folks to watch a video about a particular interest of his: water healing and water blessings. To be honest, I couldn’t follow half of what was being said in the video (I generally hit a wall around 11 after a day of driving), but listening to Makasha afterwards, it didn’t seem to matter. Intuitively, what he was saying about our ability to affect the world around us through the simple expression of and embracing of our intentions, made a heck of a lot sense (regardless of whether studies indicating that people could change the molecular structure of water with their thoughts were true or not).
As we headed back to Dabo’s house for the night, Than and I both felt, I would say, euphorically perplexed. The night had been so full of casual intensity, of fully engaged people with activate minds and hearts, that it felt like we were truly on a different plane for the remainder of the evening. We couldn’t stop laughing at what seemed to be the absurdity of it all – and it was unclear whether we felt that way about the concentrated present-ness of the evening, or the staggering dearth of present-ness and intention that seemed to exist so often in the world outside.
This post is already far too long. There is more to cover, and I promise I will catch us up soon to the present moment, sitting in a resort and hot spring outside of Joshua Tree National Park. Just think of these next few posts as a Quentin Tarantino movie – with the end scattered throughout the unfolding story – minus the violence and yellow jumpsuits (well… maybe ;)).
My love to you,