Time and the Pyramids
Palenque Travel Tale
by Lorry Patton ...
If I could catch a train headed into the past I would step off at Palenque, an old Mayan ruin, hidden far in the
rain forests of Mexico. I would step off into a time long before technology was an idea, a time long before the massive
stones had crumbled. I would step off into a time of planning, preparation and birth.
I would stand there hidden--maybe invisible; and I would watch. I would watch the engineers draft their plans.
Hunched over drawings deep in the jungle, they would appear menacing. I would be curious--maybe frightened; but I
would be very still, trying not to shiver.
I would follow them through the tangled, gnarled bushes and I would listen to the instructions given to many
leaders, the leaders who would give the orders to begin.
I would lie quietly and hear the voices of men willing to live and die for a reason I cannot understand, a reason I
want to understand; men willing to live and die carrying heavy stones forever and ever and ever. I would fall asleep
beside a shiny string of black army ants, rushing back and forth, back and forth, carrying twigs and leaves and bits of
I would wake up in the morning to the sound of iguanas chirping, the sound of macaws cawing and to the sound
of heavy footsteps treading. I would feel sticky and warm and I would rub the sleep from my eyes.
I would creep from my leafy bed and stare in wonder at the human chain before me. Glistening wet bodies
oblivious to the scorching sun, pulling and pushing monstrous boulders with ropes and vines and wooden wheels,
higher and higher, they would climb.
I would watch and wait, watch and wait, for a very long time. Then one early dawn I would wake to the sound
of drums, to the sound of chanting and to the sound of inauguration.
Slowly I would move toward the celebration and I would be at once startled and awed by the most magnificent
sight my eyes had ever seen; At last, the perfect pyramid, standing grim in the brilliant sunshine, a gray mountain
embraced by steamy wooded hills.
I would steal away slowly so as not to interfere with the jubilation. I would step onto the train and rush forth to
the future, content to witness a past that will last, that will be remembered, long after I am gone.
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