Windows in Time

It has taken me three weeks of hiking in the valley before I could make it to the high village and Terry’s land. From the landing at the lake about half the distance to the property is cobblestone lane. From the river bridge it is steep mountain trail the rest of the way.

Lake Atitlan in Guatemala is in a volcanic caldron. That means it is a lake that now rests several thousand feet below the highlands above. The land rises quickly from the waters edge. The surrounding farm lands and villages hang on steep mountain slopes.

This particular valley extends upward about half the distance to the highlands above. It is a steep mountain valley with two rivers that meet below the village. The upper village and farm land rests on a small mesa of flat land fed water by surrounding springs.

The vista of the lake and distant active volcano is breathtaking from this elevation.

A portion of Terry’s land is used for organic gardens. The farmers that raise and own the crops there are a part of a local growers association. The association is helping the farmers to grow new crops and find new markets.

I will rent the A-frame that borders the organic gardens while I build on my property just above Terry’s holdings. I have spent many years looking for this opportunity and I will share with you what I have found.

I have a friend who has lived in this village for years. He knows his neighbors and works with them on a daily basis. He is an accepted member of this community. He has vastly decreased my entry time in to this community.

I am fitting right in as another farmer growing organic crops. I have been invited to take part in the associations’ activities. I am quickly becoming a member of a small and open community of people with common interests.

This is fun!
Smiles, ET

“Bing, Bing, Bing”

My friend Terry and I sat and used that expression to describe how the purchase of my land came together. He is ready to back me now so the purchase is covered.

It will take me 90 days to gather the purchase price from my current income. I have a little time to put some things together so I hope to move that schedule ahead. It is remarkable how things come together almost magically at times like this.

I went to spend several days with Terry at his lovely farm in a high valley above Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. Terry is a Zen Monk. I wished to live in the valley, but figured it would take some time to put it together.

While we were walking the boundaries of Terry’s’ holdings we met his neighbor who owns an adjoining piece of property. Though no interest to sell his property was expressed by the farmer during our brief meeting, an offer came within a few hours.

Turns out our neighbor was given the opportunity to buy corn land on the highlands above the lake and realized a way to do this might have appeared with Terry and I.

The windows for land sale come quickly when crops are harvested here. It’s time to get the beans in and land transfers must happen now. Our neighbor needs to buy his corn land now and we must move quickly with our sale to help that happen.

In all of this I note that Terry had not seen this neighbor in three years and yet the farmer was there when we arrived. I also know that the opportunity to purchase the corn land arrived for the neighbor when I appeared to purchase his current property.I love when I am in the Flow and the doors to the Future just pop open.

The last several months of my life have been about transition. I am making the move back to country. Town and city life has been fun in Guatemala, but I am ready for quieter places now.

All is well.
Smiles, ET

Published in: on December 8, 2008 at 7:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Winter at Lake Atitlan

Volcano view from Antigua

Volcano view from Antigua

I have lived in some places with lousy weather, like around the Great Lakes in the States. I moved to the Southwest and found Arizona was not the paradise I thought it would be. Lake Atitlan in Guatemala is Paradise compared to the other places I have lived.

In Arizona I spent a lot of money either trying to stay warm, or cool. Living in my motor home, I would work for the National Forest Service in the high mountains to escape the summer heat of the lower elevations.

I loved when my employers paid my utility bills. Staying warm, or cool, in the lower elevations cost big money!

In Guatemala my room has one glass window and one screened window. Both windows have wooden shutters. The walls are block and transfer daytime warmth into the room at night. When nights are chilly I burn a candle, or add a blanket.

Money spent on utility bills, is now money spent to buy candles. I could get fancy and purchase a tiffany oil lamp, but that produces a lot of heat for a small area. Oil lamps are great for atmosphere though.

Most nights I wear a sweater. My English friends don their jumpers. It is winter here. It is the Rainy Season.

At Lake Atitlan in the highlands of Guatemala, the temperatures moderate between 60 and 80 degrees throughout the year. Lake Atitlan is located in a volcanic caldron and a thousand feet below the surrounding highlands.

The Highlands of Guatemala have winter weather that sometimes includes snow. Summer temperatures are warm and have higher humidity in the Rainy Season.

If you wish the jungles and tropical weather, you can visit Tikal or the Livingston on the Caribbean. On the Pacific Coast this time of year, you will find black sands and more tropical weather.

Guatemala has about every climate you could wish to experience. We have old Spanish cities and modern cities here. It is a place well worth checking out!

Smiles. ET

Guatemala Rainy Day

Lago Atitlan Moods

A couple of weeks ago, we were all sitting around asking where the rain was. Now, we are asking when the rain will end. It started several days ago, and the clouds have been settled over us like a blanket.

I live in a village called San Pedro Laguna on Lake Atitlan. That is in Guatemala. We are used to having beautiful weather. It is the Rainy Season now, or what we North Americans call Winter. The weather has changed.

The Seasons have a pattern that it has taken awhile for me to understand. After living here almost two years, I am beginning to fall into the rhythms of the seasons. Sensing those rhythms, I know this year has been different.

The Rainy Season began a month late. That is rough on the local farmers who expect the rains to begin within seven days of Easter. Local business owners were able to forestall their seasonally induced economic depression, and our tourists had extended great weather.

Easter came early this year, and the rains were weak when they did arrive. The vultures never came up from the Pacific Coast to announce the coming of the rains. These birds are black and huge. They are considered Sacred here.

My home is located on a point that creates an inlet where the boats arrive from across the lake. On top of the point is a Mayan Ceremonial structure. It is difficult to see from the water, but sits directly above my home.

Last year the Sacred birds arrived in great numbers above the point. A young female was blown out of the sky during a thunderstorm a few days later and spent hours in my garden until she flew off. The doves, and other birds that live here, were much relieved when she left.

The year before, a dozen of these birds, flying in formation, almost flew through my patio while I was having coffee early one morning. These birds have caught my attention almost from the first moment I arrived at Lake Atitlan.

I wonder where these Sacred birds have gone. I would have thought that the storm (Invest91), currently sitting off the Guatemala Pacific Coast, might have gotten them moving our way by now. I suspect they have flown off to somewhere sunny.

If you are wishing to keep up on the weather in Guatemala, Weather Underground has a great Central American section. You can even sign up for their email weather updates. They have excellent satellite pictures and computer generated storm tracking forecasts for the region.

Just another day in Paradise. Smiles. ET