Nestled in the Sierra Nevadas, the world’s second-highest coastal mountain range, lies Minca – a laid-back, backpackers haven where people come to bird watch, swim underneath waterfalls, and dance under full moons. After a few steamy nights in Cartagena, we were delighted to breathe in cool air and tropical rainforest.
While we had heard that Finca La Semilla was a peaceful place to stay in Minca, everyone we asked was convinced that it was an adventure beyond measure to get there. But something told us we had to.
We took off for the finca on a pair of motorbikes, with our backpacks on and groceries in hand. The ride was a scene from Indiana Jones – we whirled along windy, steep roads that paralleled rivers and rode through deep river crossings that soaked our legs. The ten-minute ride lasted too long and not long enough.
Where the motobikes dropped us off was just the beginning: ahead of us was a steep, several kilometer ascent.
And the sun was starting to set.
So we walked .. And we walked .. For almost two hours until night had fallen and we blindly stumbled into someone’s backyard begging for help.
Thankfully, we were only one farm away, and after being seriously spooked by some horses, we finally saw it: the sign for Finca La Semilla.
Surprised again. To get to the finca, we had to cross a river. I’m not kidding. It was pitch black, we couldn’t see a thing past the beams of our headlamps and all we could hear was rushing water.
One-by-one, bag-by-bag, we somehow managed not to lose footing, stepping lightly onto rocks, eventually finding the other side. Throw in another fifteen-minute up-hill trek in the dark and there we were, finally arrived.
What welcomed us was more than we could have ever dreamed – an experiential community of healers led by the Goddess, Ana Maria, who started the finca as a way to preserve the surrounding sacred indigenous land of the Sierras and the ancient, healing wisdoms of the lands’ indigenous communities.
Ana Maria embodied both the divine feminine and it’s masculine counterpart. She was lightness and darkness, strength and surrender, knowledge and curiosity. No makeup. No mirrors. No care for the idea of conventional beauty, for she radiated completely from within.
A messenger of the mountains, she showed us how to receive with gratitude from the land, and how to give back with grace. When women were on their period, she encouraged them to “feed the earth,” explaining that this cycle was a sacred ritual to be synchronized with and offered to Mother Earth.
Our time together was pure magic – open-air showers in the heart of the tropical rainforest, falling asleep under Venus and infinite stars, and waking up to the sounds of bird calls and hummingbird wings. Dream of workshops on sacred sexuality, thai massage and acro yoga, percussion circles and experiential dance.
I fell in love there. And was so consumed that photos were few and this surfaced about a being found down by the river.
Found Down by the River
It was down by the river where we found one another –
He, kneeling next to rocks that spoke the river’s age,
I, holding a pebble that told of things nimble and new.
Blades of his shoulders, sharp with color,
Locks of his hair, kept away from his face,
Light of his eyes, a reflection of the Colombian sun.
It was down by the river where possibilities undone –
Clouds floated the idea that, this too, could feel like heaven,
That this too, could see god, if only our eyes were open.
It was down by the river where I saw, for the first time –
The strength held by his fingers,
Measuring sticks for the time it took to craft the wooden flute they held.
His lips parted to welcome his craft,
Drew breath from surrounding trees,
Offered back to the land a song that lingered on their limbs.
It was down by the river where we picked one another –
A space ripe with unshared words,
Enlivened by the sounds that flew from his fingers.
A song that caught the idea that clouds floated by,
That this too, could feel like heaven,
Found down by the river.