BEHIND THE CENOTE
This is a tribute to my husband, Mitch, and it would be remiss to not include his mother, Ione in this tribute, who transitioned at the beginning of the pandemic.
A bit of a lengthy post but I need to include it all to describe the sentiment.
When the pandemic first hit, Mitch and I were at our home in the Yucatan jungle in Tulum, MX.
Our home is off-grid, solar powered and located deep in the jungle. On our property is a 66 million year old cave and what we thought was a dry cenote. We know the age because it was formed when the meteor hit the earth causing the ice age, creating sinkholes throughout the Yucatan Peninsula.
As you descend the staircase to our cave you can actually see where a piece of the meteor hit creating the sinkhole which is our cave and now cenote.
The story about its creation is a special one.
While the world was shut down, Mitch was mourning the loss of his mother and he was spending time alone in the cave, which is when he noticed a Mayan bird called a Toh. This species of bird only lives near water, near cenotes.
We live deep in the jungle.
Cenotes are underground water formations, caused by rain filtrations. They have existed since the dawn of time and their story goes way back to the time of the Mayans. Mayans tell legends about a mythical creature that inhabited the cenotes of Yucatan, the mighty bird ‘Toh’. The stories are mythical but the bird is real. With the presence of a Toh and it's nest, Mitch was led to search out water in our cave.
He discovered a small limestone hole with a puddle and in the water was a tiny fish. This fish was a sign that the puddle was indeed connected to the underground river system. The Sac Actun "White Cave" river system in the Yucatan Peninsula is the longest river system in the world (95 miles) with a maze of underground limestone caves.
Now, you cannot have a true cenote without a natural inflow and a natural outflow for the river system. If you don't have this then the water would be a mud puddle. If you do have this the water is crystal clear and breathtakingly beautiful.
So while everyone in the world was in lockdown, Mitch started digging. He dug as a creative project and outlet, but he also dug to heal his heart.
Keep in mind this is limestone, a very hard rock to break through. Due to our location there is no way to get equipment down into the cave and we are fully off-grid so all of our electricity is solar which means we only have capacity for so much electrical use each day. We hired a few men and they were off with Mitch in the lead.
Mitch does not speak much Spanish or Mayan. He lead this crew by example; hard work and a lot of heart. The jungle is extremely humid and very hot and this was an extremely large endeavor.
One day, many months in, he was really discouraged, saying "I think we may just have a big mud puddle", but he continued to press on with the project.
He designed several levels and tiers and everything that came out from digging was reused; rock, mud, clay.
He designed and created an incredible space with beautiful energy, even the wood used was all from naturally fallen trees after the hurricanes.
One morning he came running up to the house excited-- "Come down! Hurry up--- the water is clear- it’s incredible!"
That truly was an unbelievable sight.
I will never forget how beautiful it was to see it flowing clear for the first time. I felt like I was in the Garden of Eden.
It is an honor to have watched my husband create in this way. His heart and his sweat truly are part of our land.
I would send the kids updates often and so I have finally found all the footage to put together a video compilation.
Our cenote is an extremely special place, truly unique, and we are honored to be the stewards to tend this land. We are thankful to the Toh bird and I am thankful for Mitch who consciously created this gift to share with others.
This video is a little long but the end shows the transformation and a hint of what we do there now. It's worth a watch!
It was just a big, dirty, rocky dark cave before the transformation.
My husband healed his heart while creating this. He needed to “work” through it.
Moreover, he built this beautiful space for me. I am forever grateful to him for this gift.
I hope you enjoy the video and the story.
The Song: Seventh Wonder is about a moment so special nothing will ever approach it’s beauty- even if you see the Seven Wonders of the World, it won’t match this moment.