This much I will remember.
My intention was to sit in the Plaza de Armas for twenty minutes on a park bench and enjoy the sunshine and read out of "A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose". I purchased this book and read it in 2008 and recently pulled it off the book shelf again and brought it with me on this trip to Peru.
I set my timer for twenty minutes, and before the end of the first sounding bell, big wet raindrops began to fall on the pages. I sat for a moment and thought, "It will pass", and then looked up at the skies behind the mountain line.
"Nope, I should go." I put on my back pack front ways and I rested my arms on the pack as I still held the book in front of me, thinking I'd walk leisurely and read at the same time.
I made it about 100 yards across the plaza and ducked into the archways as it started to pour rain.
I thought, "Should I go back to Starbucks?"
"No, the wifi sucked this morning. I'll sit here next to the Tamale lady and read my book and watch the rain come down."
I had one sole in my back pocket, that would do for a nice snack while the rain is coming down. When eating tamales on the street was first suggested to me as a treat, I'll be honest, I turned up my nose and said I wasn't up for it, a real meal at a table would be preferred, "thank you very much".
I'm not sure what the turning point was for me, but now I try to find reasons to go by the Tamale lady, and whenever I find myself walking through the square I think, "OH! I hope the tamale lady is here."
If I see her, I'm stopping to get a tamale, or two.
Sunday night I went out at 9 pm, just to get tamales from the Tamale lady and she didn't have any left, so I went without dinner. I tried tamales from another vendor in the market the other day, and I was sorely disappointed. Only the ones from the Lady under the arches at Plaza de Armas, will do! They have a savory olive and a piece of peppery meat, and I will remember the joy of the taste of them for the rest of my life.
At first, it's pouring rain, but the overhang where I'm sitting on the steps, propped up against my backpack, is dry and I'm reading about the pain body and our triggers, and then I turn the page to the chapter "Finding Who You Truly Are".
I'm sitting on the steps in the Plaza in Cusco, rain coming down, eating a steaming hot tamale, for one solé, which is about 33 cents, reading "Awakening to your Life's Purpose". I'm wearing my red clogs and my red coat with the hood that makes me look like the character Little Red Riding Hood.
I am completely satiated.
I'm not searching for something or someone, I'm not late to be anywhere, I'm not lonely or anxious.
My friends will be waiting for my return and I'll have lunch with them, after the rain stops....but for now, I am sitting here and I am completely satiated.
This feeling of satiation is new within my body, within my heart, it's like a new way of being in my own skin.
Gone is that distinct longing and that gaping hole in my heart.
I feel whole, full.
There is not a space inside me that's missing something that needs filling.
Only a feeling, of an opportunity lingering on the horizon of a great adventure I haven't had yet. One that involves my heart, my soul, and my body.
With all of my exploring deeply and finding who I truly am, there is one thing that has seemed to elude me.
That great love affair, that one that makes my toes curl, and then stays around long enough to get to know me.
Now, the rain is really pouring down and I have to come in from the overhang and find a new place to stand, amongst the tourists wearing plastic ponchos.
I say to the retired couple from Perth, standing next to me, "You should try the tamales."
"What? What are tamales?"
"They're these hot corn thing-ys, wrapped in corn husks, and you should try them. Trust me."
"But if you hate them, don't blame me, at least you will have tried them."
And so they share a hot tamale from my favorite Tamale Lady under the arches in the Plaza de Armas while waiting out the rain.
Don't get me wrong, I have thought a great deal about having a lover on this trip.
Mostly due to all of the teenagers everywhere making out on park benches. Seriously. I have seen a lot of french kissing in broad daylight.
I wonder if it's them, or if it's me? I have never noticed so many people making out in public in any of the places I have visited.
And tourists, they seem to come in twos holding hands. There was a lady this morning in Starbucks with her legs draped over her boyfriend and I noticed her colorful traveling pants and how relaxed she was as he looked at her and laughed as they talked about their mutual travel plans. She looked like she was on vacation, you could tell she was in her body and happy. They seemed to be in a good relationship. This scene made me think of a couple I had observed on Sunday, also going over their travel plans, she was draped over her boyfriend too, but in a different way... and it didn't look like they were enjoying discussing their mutual travel plans. I had pondered the apparent desperateness of their relationship, too.
I think about all of my lovers....
Tall, short, plump, skinny, dark, blonde, country, foreign, flaky, promiscuous, serious, obsessed, depressed, hairy, smooth, talented, intelligent, hot, dumb, mysterious, and unavailable.
There have only ever been a few who got a piece of my heart.
Today, walking across the plaza I knew, in that way I know things these days, that it was all on purpose... I could hear the voice that says things I know deep down in my insides, whispering to me about how full my life experience is and will be as if it was already done and completed.
If that one had married me years ago, like I'd wanted him to. I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't be in the Plaza in Cusco, eating hot tamales, and watching the rain come down, feeling satiated.
I would have blamed him, and wondered why I wasn't happy. I'd have spent all of my time wondering what to do to make him happy, when all along it would have been me who was the unhappy one.
I'd have wondered where I had gone wrong?
Instead, this solo journey, so far, has been the greatest love affair of my life, and I stuck around long enough to get to know myself.
Finding who I truly am, has been the greatest adventure.
Dare Greatly, Explore Deeply.