Friday, May 31, 2013

Sleeping Giant Haiku...for you.


Sleeping Giant rests,
Throughout Mother Nature's tests.
Sky laid on his chest.

When you come to Belize, you almost certainly will find occasion to drive down the Hummingbird Highway. It connects Belmopan, the nation's capitol, with the Southern Highway...and therefore Hopkins, Placencia, and all points south. It is breathtaking in it's scenery. You will meander through the Maya Mountains and be treated to some of the best eye candy Belize has to offer. If your cab driver is cool...he will stop on the hill where the magnetic field is. It causes your car to drift UP THE HILL! There was a spot where this happened not far from my hometown. Growing up, we would always stop there when we were on car trips to roll a ball up the hill! We called it a vortex...Belize says it's magnetic...Personally, I don't care much for the science of it at all. I just enjoy the phenomenon! I also enjoy the Hummingbird Highway...immensely. Having been raised in the Appalachians, I follow true to the idiom, "You can take the girl out of the mountain, but you can't take the mountain out of the girl." Of all the areas and all the beauty I'm discovering here in Belize, the mountain draws me, hypnotizes me, and wraps my soul like the jungle itself wraps the mountain. The beauty of the jungle and the many streams and the birds and the mahogany and the cliff faces and the smell of oranges on the top...entrances me. Literally. I have been looking for a particular house in St. Margaret's Village every time I travel the Hummingbird Highway. By the time we get to the village...I'm all hopped up on fresh air and oxygen and my eyes are so drawn to the AMAZING kilns dug into the back yards of the homes in St. Margaret's...That I missed the place about the first 8 times I drove through the village. I (finally) last time through...determined myself that I would NOT MISS IT. ...About mile 30 Hummingbird Highway, (That's how you will get directions from folks here...they will use the mile markers of the highway to tell you where things are. I love this...so much better than the "over yonder's" I grew up with...lol) anyway...about Mile 30, I forced myself to shake off the hypnosis...I concentrated on seeing my friend's place and nothing else. I think I caught a glimpse of it on the way through...I tried again on the way back, but the (shiny!) white plaster piles and the kilns in the hillside got the best of me...I saw nothing else.

Another of the Hummingbird Highway's countless charms is The Sleeping Giant. My first trip in from the Belize Airport, I had a great taxi guy. He stopped to let me roll backwards, and he also pointed out The Sleeping Giant to me. Starting that first day I have tried to adequately capture this fella on camera. I think I finally got him. I asked Sean to slow down and I stuck my upper half out of the sliding back window of the pick up truck. It's Belize! I was not the most endangered passenger on the road. So...the stormy day from Xunantunich, brought also THIS pic of The Sleeping Giant. When you come here, you will see that his entire body is there. He has a chest, and legs, and knees, and feet. When I photograph all of him...I lose his facial detail.

The thing about The Sleeping Giant...(and now, this is going to be a mushy, romanticized, journal entry type story.) The thing about The Sleeping Giant is.... I have always had a sleeping giant in our mountains at home. My Own sleeping giant has been around since I was just a child. The sleeping giant dream is one of my first memories.

Before I ever even thought about moving to Belize, I had dreams of a wooden house similar to those VERY common here. It was right on the water somewhere, and a storm would be blowing in and I would run inside and sit on my bed overlooking the sea. In my dreams I could feel the house rumble and see the windows shake! It is one of my recurring dreams, and eventually it was not scary as much as a fun adventure.  As I have said (countless times in this post alone...), I am a mountain girl. I was never drawn to the sea. This dream has always been there...but never made any sense until I arrived here in Belize.

My sleeping giant dream began when I was about 2 years old. It is one of the few memories I have of the time before my sister was born, and she is 2 years younger than me almost to the day. It started EARLY. Our family would be driving home -up from town, on Route 40, The National Pike. Back when it was just two lanes and it climbed toward the Summit Inn. http://www.summitinnresort.com/. As a child, I remember the way the wind would pat my face on the trip up the hill. It was the early 1970's...I was allowed to stand at my mother's shoulder and hang my face out like a puppy!  We lived on Jumonville Road, take a left at the peak of the Laurel Mountains...then go UP the hill! As you approach the peak of the mountain, there is a "look out" point on your right. In my dream...as we approached the lookout point, the roadway was suddenly crossed by hundreds and hundreds of train tracks. We Bumped and we crept and we made it to our turn. Then we would turn toward home. The bumps of the train tracks continued. Up the last leg we bounced along....until they stopped! Stopped suddenly. Smooth roadway.  I would look out. Look out over the Look Out...and standing face to face...a giant! Whom we had awoken... His hair had been splayed across our path...THAT was the train track...Not a train track at all! But the hairs of a sleeping giant resting in our path. He would recognize the fear in my little baby face, and smile and wink and shake out of his pulled hair...he would step away. Somehow quiet in spite of his size.

That dream has been with  me...I have always had that dream. As a teenager, I would dream of the sorrows I could tell to my giant. My silent giant. More recently, we would just sit together. Sit together looking at the trees...enjoying nature, and each other's still silent company. But he never left me, my giant. ...And I've found him once again.

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