Yesterday we went for a late afternoon walk to explore a broken trail through the mangrove swamp that lays between the strip of habitation along the coastline and the mainland. The swamp is hundreds of miles long and up to two miles in width on the east coast of the Yucatan peninsula. This particular boardwalk was designed to allow “tourists” to see swamp life up close and personal. However, with few takers because people wanted sun, sand, surf and entertainment. The boardwalk is broken in so many places making for a somewhat dangerous adventure.
Wandering through swampland is something that few willingly risk. Wandering through the swamplands of one’s soul finds even fewer willing to take the adventure. It usually takes a crisis – a midlife crisis, a crisis of faith, or a traumatic event in one’s life to push one into daring to wander through a dark, dank, dangerous inner landscape. Think of the Odyssey and make it personal knowing that who you were before the journey through the swampland, will never reappear. Such a journey is a heroic journey of transformation.
Every truth you held close is questioned, and often exposed as a self-deceit. You have to strip away all preconceived notions in order to see clearly the self that lies hidden in the shadows of the swampland, a self that waits for ego to allow it to emerge into the light of day as a newborn emerges from the birth canal – naked and untainted in spite of the long period of gestation in a dark, damp place.