Once Upon A Time In El Pescadero
Chip’s Note: Mike Land traveled from Texas to Baja by himself and left two weeks later part of a new family. Yesterday’s Wisdom Well featured Mike’s rock balancing abilities. Here’s an email that he wrote a day after he left Baja to his fellow Sabbatical Session friends.
Down a dusty, teeth-rattling, shoulder-shaking, bumpy road, just past the green chili plants, there is a magical place called MEA. It is MEAningful to so many. Generous amounts of time are given to everyone to get your own heart and mind right. Time given to grow your soul and unearth possibilities. To set values and beliefs as a new cornerstone to align and build from.
In this place not only are the heart and mind fed, so too is the body. The food is fresh and bountiful.
MEA staff shine as bright as the stars that consistently greet the “olders” every Baja midnight.
The cast of characters that fill this place come from around the world to experience its resounding gong and call it home for two weeks. Each is a protagonist in their own stories. All are leaders in their various fields of expertise. All are entrepreneurs of their own heart.
We gaze across the ocean, excitedly watching for the opportunity to capture a glimpse of glory exemplified by whales joyfully leaping from their watery world. There is a crispness of fresh air and fresh life. We anticipate our next dance into a destiny not yet written.
Every morning brings with it a sunburst of colors that awaken the bougainvillea and stretch the shadows of the mountains the same as you and me when we awake in the morning in our beds. The coolness of the morning slowly breaks when the sun rises through the day making the walks on the almost unoccupied beach blissful.
The evenings, oh the evenings. The gathering of friends, happy and focused on a yet-to-be-seen single moment, the sun’s goodbye for the day. We all struggle to voice the true colors of a Baja sunset as each second passes and the sun slowly descends beyond the surface of the sea. Then, in that one instant, we know that can never be repeated or rolled back, a slice of a second where the top of the sun and the surface of the ocean kiss good night, all is quiet, and the breath we were all holding in anticipation, is released.
The conversations are deeper than the tidal pools, teeming with life, that attract our daily attention. Discovering the intensity of a growth mindset, making room for olders and youngers to all having a voice, spying on the divine, transitions and transformations, grace, and compassion, all have their time in the sun. Knowing that these ideas have so much more depth, we are gifted with many more questions than answers, challenging us to explore them on our own and with our new brothers and sisters in the MEA alumni, now that we belong to this family of navigators.
Play is integral to the happiness of this world away from chaos. Time spent throwing and catching sounds, mirroring movements, chasing the sun and the moon. Running around and laughing so hard that you can’t catch your breath causing your stomach and your ribs to hurt the next morning. Listening to music at the neighborhood beach bar, Pura Playa, where everyone knows your name (ok, I couldn’t resist, corny I know!). Being entertained by Gibran’s The Prophet staged in a bird cage and then theater under the stars another night with the hit musical comedy “Todos Santos Newsfeed – The Musical.”
There are so many stories to tell just from these two weeks. Because of our time together, new friendships were formed! We long for belonging and MEA gave us an opportunity to expand our relationships, internally first with ourselves and externally with others.
I learned so much from each of you. My life is already richer because you are in it.
We were coached that one way we end a story is with “And the moral of the story….” The two weeks for me were pages in a chapter in a book whose story is still being written.
The moral of this story is that the more vulnerable I am, the more open I am, the richer my relationships will be, and the more joy filled my life is. As a result, the more intense and intentional my desire is to serve each of you and others in supporting your story - as it is still being written!
With love - Mike
Mike Land is a joyful man of faith, married, a dad, a grandfather, a friend and community servant.