I think of the magical feeling that we as a family had felt in Tepoztlan, Mexico and the warmth returns to my heart. The cobbled stone pathways filled with people, cabs squeezing their way through the narrow clogged streets, quaint houses, happy people, ancient cathedral and interesting stores. The jewel in the crown, though is the ancient Tepozteco pyramid, perched on top of the mountain. At the start of the hike, the path was dotted with little stores selling pottery, colorful scarves, headbands, jewelery and food stalls – with women slapping the corn dough in their hands before flinging it onto a huge griddle to make tortillas.
People lazily ambling along the path, no one seemed to be in any kind of hurry to climb the mountain. The initial path was a cobble stone pathway and then the climb began winding through huge trees across the muddy knotty pathways varying from being moderately steep to really steep. I needed to take several short breaks to catch my breath. We met many people along the way, who greeted us with a smile asking…Indiano? followed by Hello or a Namaste! There was a group of boys playing little drums and guitar as they continued their hike up the mountain. Halfway through the hike, I decided to take a break and let my husband and the boys move on, as I felt I had no energy or water left.
A lady sat next to me as her daughter and husband continued the journey upwards. She smiled at me and tried to strike up a conversation despite the language barrier. We kept smiling and nodding at each other, in agreement to being in a similar situation. After about 15 minutes, I found myself re-energised and decided to complete the hike, I bid goodbye to my new friend, as she flashed a huge smile and a thumbs sign at me as I moved on.
It wasn’t that hard anymore. I hiked another half a mile before I went up a spiral staircase to reach the entrance to the sacred Pyramid. I found my family re-hydrating themselves with bottles of soda. I was glad to drink soda too, as there was no water, we went around the ruins before we finally made it to the main structure. It was shaped like a pyramid with about 20 – 25 steep steps, about 30 feet in length that went up at 90 degree angle up to the summit. The summit was flat and narrow with a width of about 20 feet.
At the summit, We saw a young charismatic guy trying to get his picture taken, while sitting in a yogic pose, he had a rudraksh mala in his hand for the added effect. He smiled at us. We were intrigued, more so when we found out that his name was Krishna Jesus ( pronounced Yesu). He took a picture of our family at the summit. It was easy to talk with him and his partner, a pretty girl who smiled more than talked. As it turned out, they were at Tepozatlan to spend the new year’s eve together. His parents had been into Yoga and meditation which explained the uniqueness of his name. He talked about the high spiritual energy surrounding Tepoztlan and the pyramid. We invited them to join us at the spiritual ( Spirit Voyage) concert, later that night to greet the new year. They seemed interested.
We went down the mountain at leisure, walked around the downtown area, ate some enchiladas and tortillas at a restaurant, the hostess and people in the stores were all extremely courteous and friendly. We strolled along the homemade snack stores and bakeries, strangely reminiscent of India.Then walked through a street market and went inside an ancient cathedral, it was breathtakingly beautiful and peaceful. We spent some time in the shade of the enormous trees….
Finally, we reached the resort around 7 PM, where we had spent the last 3 days, as a part of SatNam Fest. It was a spiritual and musical bonanza intertwined together, especially with all our favorite musicians right there. What better way to usher in the new year than by meditating in peace and tranquility while listening to highly spiritually charged shabads( hymns) & music.
Around 11:00 PM, an hour before the start of another new year, there was a tap on my shoulder, I turned to look it was Krishna and Pilor. It was so nice to see them, we shared some of our blankets with them, as it was getting cold and continued to enjoy the concert. Then just before midnight, everyone stood around the pool, with lit candles in their hands to usher in the new year. It was a nice little ceremony that we did with Krishna and Pilor by our sides. It felt special with an overwhelming feeling of connectedness to all the people and the surroundings. A feeling of a special bond with this young couple. We had no idea or the need to know who they were, what they did, may be they were college students or starting out fresh in life …none of it seemed to matter…………….