Dancing the Dust Away
Submitted by Aaron “Colors” Jones
The land was thirsty. We all felt the heat pushing against the soil. On this particular afternoon, when the sun sailed high over the ascending, red loam, a group of interns and their guides ventured out above the field for what seemed a routine water pipe shift. Great Mother pleaded for the clouds to break with rain-scented threads of hasty air. We echoed her call.
Despite the heat and dust that streamed past us, we managed the pipes and fastened them quickly, working efficiently with our two wise teachers well at hand. Soma, the older of the two, a kind and grinning man trained in many native traditions, overheard the interns babbling exchanges about water, land and the mention of “rain dancing”. Swiftly, the eager-eyed teacher spun around to greet the unexpecting faces of his students, exclaiming “would ya’ like to do a rain dance?” His smiling words infused the group with delight as they all bounced at the notion! “Yeah!” cried the group like chattering birds. Just as rapidly, the spirited guru turned toward the lower field, waving his hand like the Pied-Piper. “Well follow me then,” he bellowed happily.
As the modest group circled up, the atmosphere gradually tilted toward a slower ebb of denser lowland air. The wise man instructed the throng to place their right foot into the circle, rocking back and forth, arms bound around one another in an explosive oscillating rhythm. He clapped his hands in a steady drumming. “AYUN MAPU, AYUN MAPU,” he sang into the swirling space where magic mixed over the grasses. “AYUN MAPU, AYAN MAPU,” the circle replied, sending the song into the rising shafts of ether. Again, the teacher sang and the circle resounded, until their words exploded like a fire pressed by wind, crackling up into a now turbulent wind which came crashing in around them like a broken levee.
First one drop, then a smattering of splotches came bolting down from the torn patches of sky and sun as the circle expanded and contracted in a dervish of momentous song. The rain fell, the dance had worked, and their eyes were alive with the truth of this. And still they danced, more furiously, the wind puncturing between their torsos in a frenzy of atmospheric chaos! “AYUN MAPU, AYUN MAPU,” again they harmonized in earthen pitches against the fury of the water churned air.
Laughter and elation broke out among the amazed circle of amateur shamans and their two guides! They ran to the shelter of Soma’s pick-up truck, yelping with surprise, curling themselves up in the comfort of the bed against the breaking winds and rain. As they drove away, dust skirting the horizon behind them, they felt deep awe observing triple rainbows on the field where they had just held space, sacredness, and perhaps even wisdom. The Great Mother seemed pleased. Later, I discovered, upon inquiry to Soma, that the words we spoke meant: “Honor the Earth, Give Thanks to the Earth.” An incantation from his travels in South America. The Earth, you may find, always rewards our gratitude with moments just like these and, of course, triple rainbows! (Hats Blowing Away)
Aaron “Colors” Jones