Reflections on a Southerner


by Brenda Long Alfaro

Life in the tropics reminds me of the lazy Southern days I spent floating on the “rivah” of my escapes in the small, very old Southern town of my family in Virginia . We all grew up nestled in the soothing waters that come together there to make one – ancient Indian rivers known as the Mattaponi and the Pamunkey, which blend at the tip of my being into the English-named York River . And, that is who I am. This is my essence.

I took a moment in time yesterday to watch a movie, which captured the flow of my Southern life, a flow of generation upon generation, now lost in the amalgamation of our modern nomadic society; a society that moves without their tribe, from a dream of a tribe that no longer exists.

As I watched this movie, I remembered the pathos and joy of my tribal Southern family's existence, the moments of great celebrations together, of destructive divisions created by silence, and rejoiced, and mourned, for us all. We have all moved away, from it intricacies and rich memories of generations blending together, into lives that are filled with young new memories for our children and theirs, grown from experiences in a more insulated existence in a modern world.

“You can never go home again,” as Southerner Tom Wolfe wrote, and that, in itself, leads one to a path of unknown territories, exciting and full of adventure, uncharted and unguided. Through a long journey, it has now led me to be nestled amidst the sacred path of the Maya, living within their ancient ceremonial pyramids known as Xaman-Ha – “the Shaman at the Water” – and finding joy and peace within the essence of its water spirit.

I rejoice each and every day for the destiny which guided me to this moment in time, bringing me ever closer to the Indian waters of my birth, far away from the land of my birth.

What greater joy can one be given in one's life? It is a peaceful joy, one of reuniting with your birth spirit, one that came before family. A joy that you wish to truly share with the family memories left in another world, with those you love and miss, with those who you only pray will reach out and touch this true essence of life with you, once again, in peace and jubilation.


The essence of this Mayan path lies in the wisdom created through harmony, imagination and vision. May all have the joy of guiding themselves into this future. Kox Kanik.

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