The sway of the horse rocks me along
while we climb the mountain Pelón.
His hooves on the dusty path
lull away my daily life,
emptying me for the miracle.
We ascend without speech,
bandanas pulled over our noses.
Our horses’ rhythmic panting
increases with the elevation
and adds a kind of singing to the ride.
Parting the air in a thinner way
is the monarch sailing overhead, first
of the beings we’ve traveled to see.
The heat of the morning decreases
as up, up we climb,
twisting and turning on the path.
A coolness tickles my arms.
Gliding toward us while we rise,
four more butterflies. Now
Ten. Now thirty.
We dismount and walk
higher still, on the path.
Beneath what now are clouds
of silent butterflies,
our quiet movements seem to boom.
Solemn, we enter the forest
at a place that the butterflies have chosen
for this winter’s sanctuary.
A million individual
goddesses and gods with wings
graciously allow us to witness
as they go about their colony lives.
In the high pine forest,
I lay myself down
and open wide to all their blessings.
I think of nothing, my mind
lifted past all clutter.
The flutter of a million wings-
sounds a holy, ghostly note of music,
a quivering etheric
which I strain to catch.
Countless as they are, each
of the many million monarchs
has wing-edge spots, distinct
from any one of the others.
Their buttery clutch of the oyomel
turns tree trunks orange with wings,
everything static changed to
pulsing, pulsing, pulsing.
Sailing, also, between the trees,
the butterflies fill a cerulean sky
with apricot patterns of dancing.
The arrangements they make in the air
compose: music, paintings, poems.
We are hushed to wonder,
humans put in their rightful
small place in the universe.
I never want to leave, but slowly
I start back toward the horses.
Once, I turn and bow
to these elegant divinities,
for their example of transforming,
for their lesson of delicate endurance.
Their soaring goodness sends
its benediction down not only
to those who have journeyed here,
but through us, to the world.
To you. Oh yes, to you.
©Susa Silvermarie 2017
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com