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Listening To Sacred Sounds Backpacking In The Peruvian Andes

“Listen close” she said, and so I put my head down to the dirt and listened as she sang a song woven with life, growing on life.

By: Grace Powell + Save to a List

Look at the dark silhouette of the crouched mountains, look at their grace, their patience. And now, the fog creeping over, moving together, and still each tendril moving with a mind of its own. The glistening, chewing and slurping. The rock bridges and steady breathing and stepping over paths which have been used for as long as there have been feet. The granite and green, moss and rock, rushing water. The language of the people, gentle and hissing without end, through the air, carried by the wind.

Photo: Drew Robinson

Photo: Drew Robinson

Photo: Drew Robinson

Photo: Drew Robinson

Potato sacks hung over bed with sleeping children, their cheeks red and wind beaten, with shyness that melts like butter on a skillet. Constant newness, and the knowledge of old life. Each sunrise, spreading over the jagged peaks, the green slopes, expertly planted with hands who know.

Photo: Drew Robinson

Photo: Drew Robinson

“Now look again”, she sighs into my bones. I look at this life, this way of being, the closeness to the land, the elements, the life force. I look at the life and envy it, wondering how I have strayed so far from it. I look at this life and call it sacred, I put it on a pedestal and shy away, a voice inside my head saying I am not worthy to look.

“Now feel”

Photo: Drew Robinson

Photo: Drew Robinson

And I close my eyes, and feel the sound of the rushing water, a vibration that is endless, a sound that is universal. I listen and in it I feel the spirit of Patchamama, and in this I know all is sacred, from the trash strewn streets of LA, to the high Andean peaks I find myself in. That all life, everything that we know, is sacred.

And as the song ends, I inhale the cool mountain air, I let the full moon bathe my skin in a pure glow and feel the comfort of the earth below me, the comfort that not even 10ft of pavements can take away.

Photo: Drew Robinson

Photo: Drew Robinson

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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