Monday, September 14, 2009

Take this Tune: "September" by Earth, Wind & Fire

Six years ago, the fall equinox--September 21--became a special day of the year for me.

Since we retired, Mr. B.E. is writing some of his favorite life memories. He let me share this selection about it (from a chapter of his hitch-hiking stories) with you:

In 2003 we spent a semester in Merida on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula as visiting professor/s of Central College’s (Pella, IA) experiential learning program. Billie and I had both received leaves of absence from our teaching jobs to join them. We had no car, but we were bound and determined (Billie more than I) to witness the twice annual celebration of the equinox.

In historic Dzibilchaltun archaeologists discovered the amazing celestial sophistication of the sun-calendar of Mexico’s indigenous. The Mayans constructed a remarkable ceremonial building. Only on the days of equinox (Sept. 21 and March 21) did the sun come up at the precise angle that allowed it to shine fully through its two narrow doorways. [Similarly there were windows, diagonals from one another, designed so that the same thing happened at the bi-annual solstices!]

We caught the earliest bus north out of Merida on Sept. 21 hoping to witness the event. That bus left us off four miles from our destination, however, and the time factor made it seem unlikely that we could hoof it there on time. After a mile or two, our chances dimmed even more as the sky began to lighten with the approaching dawn. Then a car came barreling down the narrow road in the dark and slammed on its brakes.

“Do you need a lift?”

Yes! We both squeezed into the back seat of the vehicle already carrying four hippie-type European youths who were on the same mission. We arrived at the site just in time for me to take a photo of Billie framed by the rising sun shining through the structure’s doorways behind her. It’s one of her all-time favorite photos:

Later, on the walk back to the highway where the bus left us off, the Yucatan state patrol (who normally appear quite officious and stern) offered us a ride; they even pointed the best spot to stand in order to wave down the bus from Progresso on its return to Merida from the Gulf beach. They seemed quietly appreciative of our interest in their heritage.

We don't know what this fall will bring. May it be a good one. I hope that a dream you risk to achieve will come true for you. Keep dancin' in September!

Thanks, Jamie, for initiating "Take This Tune"


Jamie said...

Wow! I just love where songs take people. This was a wonderful story, and brought back all sorts of memories of bus service in Mexico. :-)

an average patriot said...

That is excellent Billie you guys have some nice memories many more to come I hope. I love the picture too!

Liberality said...

you have blipped this song I presume

One Fly said...

How I like a good story that has add-ons!!

Travis said...

What a fantastic experience!

Thanks for cruising by my place.

Liberality said...

p.s. I have something for you over at my place so stop by.

thepoetryman said...

The song, the pic, the words, all made a delicious whole. I only use the word delicious in this instance because, well, I actually like the word and I just finished reading your tomato post!