Miralamar is a small remote elevated place located on top of a hill in Chiclana de la Frontera, a quaint white seaside town in the South of Spain. My family has some land in Miramar overlooking the sea where in the past we used to keep vineyards. After school and at weekends I used to tend to the land there “giving a hand” to my dad. From this place, the vineyards expanded below reaching the edge of the town in the distance. This picturesque image of vineyards and the white town was crowned by the small church, the hermitage of Santa Ana. For me, these images transcended the material world.
Beyond the hermitage, on clear days I could catch a glimpse of the bright blue Atlantic Ocean. On such days with the agility of a cat, I would jump onto the roof of a small shelter where my Dad kept the tools with which he worked the land and where on rainy days we found shelter. From this hight, I could see the ocean clearly. I would sit on one of the stones, which were on top of the roof to weigh it down and prevent it blowing away in one of the strong winds for which Cádiz is renowned, “Levante”.
I would loose myself in the beauty of the landscape. Out of the blue, I would enter a consciousness which led me to forget all the ”important things,”, like playing football, which had led me to resist coming to help my Dad, resentful of that tedious task of working while still being a young boy.
Here I would sit in reflection. After a few minutes of uninterrupted contemplation, I would find myself transported into a state where all my senses were awakened, suddenly becoming aware of the beauty of the sounds of the wind, or the curious shapes and colours of the crops in the fields. The initial appearance of my surroundings slowly transformed. Astounded I realised that the blue of the Atlantic, as I had seen it in the beginning, was not really blue at all, it was in fact silver! I would sit there amazed, looking at the beautiful image until little by little it transformed into something I had not seen previously, a transformation not only visible but affecting me emotionally. It felt that I was no longer looking only with my eyes but with something else deep inside me. I was fascinated to enter a mysterious state of shapes, colours and sounds of a different reality. I was feeling everything in a different way.
Entering this state big questions arose, “how human beings are transforming continuously”; “how the planet earth itself is transforming as if alive”. I became very aware of how important it is to remember life as a gift. that someday, I did not know when this gift would end. How easy it is to forget such an essential reality! How important it is to remember that the moment we are living is the only thing that we have.
When I entered this consciousness, a mixture of thoughts and emotions emerged. I now remember how I would tell myself “Wake up, life is passing, there is no time to waste!”
There I was, sad and happy at the same time, without any obvious reason, sitting on the stone on top of that roof of the shelter made of tin and wood; apart from the world. There I sat, absorbed, in peace, tranquil and awakened.
Those moments were for me some of the most beautiful memories of my childhood. It was as if I was engaged in a big adventure without moving my butt from the stone on which I sat. How wondrous it was to become lost in a very different reality. How much beauty to be discovered; that sense of being surrounded by a magic yet unexplored. Suddenly that state of absorption would be interrupted by a whistle from afar; my Dad calling me to return to the work; my purpose being to help him, not to look at the clouds.
Now I am an adult with little doubts about the vast energies which surround us. I believe in the power of the “essence”; the ocean, the earth and the sky. Now I can see how the power of “The Essence” helped me to disconnect from the “I” of my mind, helping me to reach that dreamlike state where I could perceive the beauty which surrounded me with an intensity which didn’t exist in my normal state of perception.
That was an important learning. I learnt that what surrounds us affects our senses. We perceive this as reality but when we enter into an altered state of consciousness we begin to experience reality in a different form.
The alteration of my consciousness and the consequent change in my way of perceiving reality, was for me, a direct result of becoming aware of the immense energies which surrounded me. I suppose that when we are young we are interiorly less dense, more light; this time is a tremendous opportunity to be able to fly.
The moment a person enters that place of inner silence, the connections which limit us to our inner dialogue, from which it can be so difficult to escape, begin to fracture
Mira-la-Mar is simply a call to sit down in front of the Ocean and create the opportunity to fly to that place where only silence and peace exists.
Juan José Manzano