Me dancing on a ridge at Calavera

Calavera is

a 22-million year old volcanic plug that sits at the cross-section of Carlsbad, Vista & Oceanside.

It is where I sought comforting respite from my parent’s house, just up the street on Ridge Road,
where anger and rage, abuse and addiction and the violence and lack of vulnerability –
all of which comes with our global mother wound (click to read more about this global wound) played out.

In Spanish, Calavera means ‘skull.’

It is on this land, where I walked and danced,
where I played and re-found myself – in my body, after repeatedly losing connection to my heart & my feelings due to the violence & force that both my world culture and my parent’s home nearly flattened me with.

Here is where I found the meaningful connection and the unconditional love that simply wasn’t available in my life around me.

Here, among the Coastal Oak trees and the sage scrub, I would wander, alone and content.

In the winter, the meandering trails along a wet marshland that had largely been carved out by illegal immigrants seeking safe shelter, were rendered muddy puddles. In the spring and summer, when poison oak would voluminously rear its three-pronged head,
I would experience red, itchy rashes across my arms and legs.

I once brought home a tick, snugly lodged in the warm, dark folds near my nether region where I found it while wiping myself after using the bathroom.

Here is where, at 9 years-old, I would play with my neighborhood friends, swinging on ropes that someone else tied to a towering tree above a brook, running parallel to Lake Drive.

Here is where, at 14 years-old, I would stroll with my best friend, when she would point out all of the sensual spots that she would make out with a boy, and where we both hilariously fell into the reservoir, after I mistakenly thought the piles of cat tail that were layered on of the top of the lake could hold my weight.

Here is where, at 17-years old, I spent the night under the ancient columns left behind by the volcano with my peers on a senior night out.

Here is where a mystical cave that had seemingly hieroglyphics etched across it has been filled in by the city and is no longer accessible.

Here is where wood planks that once provided access through the marsh have been replaced by walkways.

Here is where, at 33-years old, I would climb to the top of the 500′ foot hill and practice some Chi Gung while gazing two miles west over the Carlsbad power plant and towards the Pacific Ocean.

And here is where, at 35-years old, I was bitten by a rattlesnake.

Calavera is

my home.

And is as much of a parent to me
as my own mother and father are.

In 1979, Laguna Pueblo scholar Paula Gunn Allen wrote:

“We are the land.
That is the fundamental idea embedded in Native American life.
The Earth is the mind of the people as we are the mind of the Earth.
The land is not really the place separate from ourselves
where we act out the drama of our isolate destinies.
It is not a means of survival, or a setting for our affairs.
It is, rather, a part of our being – dynamic, significant and real.
It is our self.”

Yes, I am/we are raising our son to know Calavera, as well as to know the nature of his own Soul.
And we are also doing it in an unconditionally loving way without fear or judgement looming over him.