Kamalla Rose Kaur
“There is enough blue sky to make a Dutchman’s britches!” I exclaimed as we tumbled from our house into the chilly morning. We climbed into our truck and headed out of town, driving south to visit Ken’s family.
“Dutchman’s britches? What do you mean by that anyway?” Ken asked.
“It means it might be sunny today and not rain!” I informed him.
“A Dutchmen’s britches take only a small amount of fabric because they are
thrifty, is that it?” Ken asked, gazing skeptically at the patch of blue sky
surrounded by dark clouds above us.
“I don’t know if that is it or not,” I answered “but my pseudo Uncle Arthur
used to tell me that if there is enough blue sky to make a Dutchman’s britches, then the day will turn sunny, instead of rain again.”
Ken continued to look doubtful and then shrugged and turned the conversation, “Who was this Uncle Arthur?” he inquired. “He dead?”
“No, I called him recently and Aunt Helen, but Aunt Helen was in the hospital when I called. It was hard for me because Uncle Arthur didn’t recognize me when I talked to him. All he said was ‘I have lots of good memories’.”
Ken nodded and sighed, and kept silent and drove.
I sent Uncle Arthur and Aunt Helen a prayer, as I pondered Arthur’s words and as the years and years of good memories of times spent with these family friends played in my mind’s private theater.
I remembered being out on the boat, traveling through the San Juan Islands. Uncle Arthur was pretending to depend on me to help him navigate through the dark green-forested isles to where their magical, hand built, dream house was waiting for us. It was a rambling wood structure with wonderful fireplaces in every room and several lofts and nooks with window seats, and lots of decks for looking out to sea.
Uncle Arthur had been an upper manager for Sear’s Roebuck. He retired early, a wealthy man, and then he enjoyed his 2nd career, which was working for the United Nations. He and Helen would travel to countries around the world and help the indigenous people create the business savy and the connections they needed to market their arts and crafts and wares to Western consumers.
Thus superimposed on my many wonderful memories of visiting Uncle Arthur and Aunt Helen in the San Juan Islands, were the rarefied and softly lit, mystical scenes of being with them in the Andes of Peru, during the summer of 1966 when I was eleven years old.
My soul was unlocked on that trip; something important was set free in mewhile in the Andes. The high elevation may have helped my fantasy and imaginative abilities. Or, maybe it was the music of the people, but everywhere I went that summer I started having paranormal experiences.
Especially at the ruins of Machu Picchu, where we stayed for two of the most glorious weeks of my life. I would look at the ruins and I saw the whole marvelous city the way it was in the past. I saw people bustling around. I knew how the water system worked before the guide told me, I knew which house had been my house and when I climbed the stairs to the Temple of the Sun, I thought I might faint with awe; past and present awe.
Uncle Arthur and Aunt Helen were not alarmed by my rich fantasy life. They even mentioned that many people in the world believe in reincarnation. Maybe I was having a past life memory?
This was something my parents would never have suggested in a million years and it was the very first time this life that I ever heard about the idea of reincarnation.
Yes, that strange new thought, the possibility of something called reincarnation, this totally new cognitive leap, happened for me at age 11 upin the Andes, at Machu Picchu. The idea completely altered me, changed me forever. This notion of reincarnation, which Helen and Arthur may not have taken particularly seriously, was for me a gift of Grace. After all I was having full-blown hallucinations, seeing a past era superimposed on my every waking moment while in the ruins of Machu Picchu. This was scary stuff for a secular, USA, eleven year old raised by intellectual, atheist parents.
“Reincarnation is believed by more people in the world than not,” Uncle
Arthur assured me casually, making me feel safe and sane in the midst of my
raging peak experience.
“I have always found it more sensible and exciting a possibility to
contemplate than heaven and hell.” Aunt Helen added.
Suddenly Ken interrupted my memories, “What have you been thinking about all this time?”
But I couldn’t bear to tell him yet another set of stories about my amazingly
enriched childhood, not while driving south to visit his family. Life for Ken
as a child was hard and feudal. Ken had been as much surrounded by ignorant people as I had been surrounded by brilliant, enlightened, gifted and unusual people.
“I was just thinking about how Uncle Arthur said he had good memories and how I do too,” I compromised.
“I still don’t get that Dutchman’s britches bit,” Ken grumbled. “What is that
supposed to mean anyway? And where is the predicted sunshine?”
I peered through the window. We were driving through forested mountains and it was dark and wet all around us; though it was not actually raining. I shrugged and kept my silence and I soon let myself fall back into the dreamy memories of awe, climbing the hundreds of stairs to the tiptop peak of the Temple at Machu Picchu.
Suddenly, we drove around the backside of the mountain and a huge vista
opened up. The lovely rural valley of Ken’s birth stretched out below us.
Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands were off to the West and the Cascade
Mountains, stunning, absolutely breathtaking, sparkled in the East and
somewhere, down in the bright green and golden valley below, Ken’s family
were waiting for us to visit them.
“Well, look at that!” Ken howled, pulling off the road immediately and
climbing out of the truck. “It is SUNNY!”
Sure enough it was sunny in the Pacific NW.
This rarely happens here, so it is always a surprise. It feels like you have
just discovered Shangri-La when the weather clears up around here.
But I was experiencing two realities at once again. I was right there, with
Ken, soaking in the vista of his homeland but, at the same time, I had also
reached the very top of the Temple of the Sun and I was looking out over the
Urubamba Valley below, like I had long ago in a former life or two.
“See!” I confronted Ken after simply gazing at the beauty of our earth for a
long spell, past and present. I was suddenly feeling the tremendous power of
all good memories everywhere; my own memories, Uncle Arthur’s and Aunt
Helen’s memories, ancient Machu Picchu memories combined with the good
memories of all beings, through all ages. And I knew that that very moment
was yet another very good memory and it made me suddenly grateful to the
Great Majestic Mystery, the EkOnKaar (Creation/Creator).
“Uncle Arthur was right! There WAS enough blue sky earlier to make a
“Yeah, maybe,” Ken conceded as he grinned and pulled me close, “but what does that mean anyway?”