Last week M. and I climbed over the ridge to “Camera Trap Spring” (our personal name for it) to leave an offering to Tlaloc.
Thing have changed a little bit since a year ago. The ground is black with ash. Stones have cracked from the heat of a forest fire.
That ground-up bark on the ground is mulch dropped from a helicopter in mid-April. Mixed with grass seed, it is supposed to help the grass grow to hold the slope against erosion. For more about that re-seeding and our visit, see the other blog.
The tiny spring is in the upper right quadrant of the photo. The little jar holds a liquid offering, while the turkey feathers are offered in lieu of a real turkey, which if I had been an old-time Nahuatl-speaker, might have been offered in lieu of a human child.
Obviously, things change.
In my personal practice, I care less about questions of authenticity, ethnicity, book-knowledge, or “the lore” than I do about the land. I think that I live at the fringe of the area in which Tlaloc (or Someone like him) was anciently honored; therefore, for the past two years, I have been trying myself to do so.
This little seasonal spring is like a miniature version of the whole hydrological cycle. Rain and snow fall on the rocky ridge above it — the entire collection area is probably smaller than a football field. Then the spring flows, in direct proportion to the winter snows, until the water is all gone.Through evaporation, through the urine of bears and elk — however it goes — the water flows back into the cycle.