The Power of Mystical Memories
Memories have the power to haunt and transmute us. I have memories from the age of two, and possibly younger. There is one key memory from that age, that to this day, so many years later, still resonates powerfully within me.
My mother, a truly beautiful person, herself had a beautiful and unforgettable mother, my grandmother, “abuelita”, whose warmth, wisdom and irrepressible humor was a gift to all who knew her. And her own sister, Dolores, affectionately nicknamed Yaya, was my wonderful and infamously irreverent godmother, or Nina, in Spanish. I know that Nina always had a special love for my mother, who to this day reciprocates that love, which is clear whenever she speaks of my Yaya. And the energy and intention with which my Nina Yaya in turn loved me, was something that I powerfully and effortlessly felt from her. And the particular memory and magic of that love is something that left me with a profound feeling of loss, all of my life. For my beloved godmother died when I was two years old.
In fact, as my mother years later informed me, it was a few days before my birthday that my Nina Yaya was on her deathbed, and even so, pressed some money into my mother’s hand and admonished her to be sure to buy me a birthday present. This is also how I know at what early age I had the following, reverberating experience.
My Nina lived in the town of Nogales, Mexico, just over the border from Nogales, Arizona, and it was during the rainy season, when roads and streets in town would be flooded. My mother and Nina walked to the local tortilleria, where tortillas were made fresh daily, and one could watch the whole entertaining process through the window that faced the sidewalk. I had just learned to walk, and so, with my mother holding one hand, and my godmother the other, we walked to that store to buy some tortillas. Puddles were interspersed along the road and sidewalk, and I remember I would simply lift both feet at the start of each puddle, knowing I would be carried safely over it by my Mom and Nina. It was fun.
When we arrived at the tortilleria, which was located on a corner, I stood outside with Mom, to watch through the window, while my godmother went inside to make our purchase. As I stood there, I started looking around, and noted that the road adjoining the sidewalk on that corner, was flooded. And then I noted a slight movement in the water. It was a rippling at the surface of the water, in the middle of the road, that was sending small concentric waves across the surface. And I realized the cause was a cricket, which had somehow gotten trapped in all of that water, and was struggling to stay afloat.
And then, as I watched and understood that the cricket was fighting for its life to keep from drowning, I was suddenly pierced, right through the heart, with a profound feeling of sorrow and desperation that went right through me and rooted me to that spot, and locked me into that experience. Because in that moment, I also knew, beyond the knowing of the mind, that I was feeling what the cricket was feeling. My whole being cried out in empathy, and that included the desperation of knowing that there was no way I could save it. I could only send my love to it, and feel my own sense of loss for it.
The whole experience occurred within only a few seconds, I realize, and was relieved by my godmother exiting the store with her purchase and joining my mother and me, breaking that painful communication.
I have always known that everything is connected, somehow, though we rarely see or know or are otherwise aware of those connections. I have experienced a number of telepathic experiences in my life, and many years later read about the phenomenon of inter-species communication, and so even now strive to understand the nature of my experience that day. But I know that experience was real in a way that puts other realities in an altogether other perspective, and that the echo of that cricket’s life will always be a part of me.