Cascada de Mandor, four kilometres from Aguas Calientes, has a beautiful setting – as you can see. And now the rain, never far away, is joining the waterfall’s spray.
It feels lush, damp with growth, green with promise, where every living thing is an opportunist. I can feel the vitality, hear the trees groaning their reach for the sun.
Everything is a tangle, dense, searching. If I fell asleep here, I would wake with vines circling my limbs.
Riverside ferns and mosses and trees lean into the falls impatience for its water, as if not getting that floating droplet will negate its very life – and the next, and the next.
The water announces its presence like a brass band, forcing the air ahead of it in an elemental parade. It huffs and puffs its way through surrounding jungle, sending it dancing and fluttering.
The larger canopy above looks down on all this and glows benevolently. It’s old enough to know the order of things, has gained noticeable status by its sheer gravitas. I can hear its wisdom of silence and acceptance. I can sense its inevitable rebirth.
Everything is awake, even that which is asleep. And here, under my feet, generations of leaves gift themselves to the soil, to this jungle, to me, and all.
And me, no more alone, no more important, no less beautiful, no less participating in this cycle of life as every other living and dying thing.
I bury my green tendrils into this earth and feel this earth transmit its ancient lives into mine. The leaves of my skin join this forest floor. My limbs dance in this water. This forest accepts me for what I am. And I rejoice in being part of this forest, this water, the Cascade de Mandor.