Belén Journal - DESIREE WALLACE

Transient

Throughout my life I have harnessed an uncontested passion in my heart, mind, body and soul to contribute to making the world a better place for every sentient being.

Having been fortunate enough to travel down to Iquitos, Peru this summer, my spirit was greatly rehabilitated. As I lay my head down on the old wood floor of an abandoned cabana hidden in the jungle, I was granted a profound moment. Looking over the river, there were vast silhouettes of towering trees accompanied by the most immaculate night sky – full of the brightest stars I have ever seen. I breathed in and a symphony of foreign animals singing a beautiful lullaby rang through my ears. At this moment I felt so utterly connected to earth and the people surrounding me that I literally had a tangible feeling resonating in my chest for days. This feeling was reinforced by the subsequent experiences I had in an urban slum community called La Belen. However, what is interesting is how the time I spent in this community brought me to a revelation that I hadn’t anticipated.

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” –- Miriam Beard...

Welcomed back to my home, I feel the need to appreciate everything I am so fortunate to have in my life, especially those aspects with no monetary value: mother earth, family, friends, art, music, love and laughter. Peru has awakened my spirit with its alluring physicality, but more so with the incredible compassion and reverence that is present within the people who live off of less than what we would consider necessities... There is this overwhelming stigma around developing countries – we sympathize for them because they may have an unfortunate health care system, unruly sanitation issues, poor infrastructure or lack of food security, but what we don’t realize is how much more richly they LIVE their lives. We are the ones who truly have so much to learn from these communities and cultures, which is why I come back to Vancouver with the sheer motivation and aspiration to put my energy towards community building to re-instill the nation we once were.

Living life in harmony with the Earth and realizing that we are all interconnected, affecting each other everyday, will reignite the soul of our planet that over the years has been dimmed by a confined consumerist culture. I believe that this paradigm shift is crucial to the wellbeing of the present and future generations. So live - but truly live - fulfill your deepest most honest desires and never leave someone without loving them first.