A DAY IN THE FOREST
I would be hard put to choose a favorite among the spiritual works of the annual Encounter for the New Horizon but Daime in the Forest would surely be near the top of my list.
The day begins as people gather in the church at the edge of the forest. It's sort of a classic Brazilian "hurry up and wait" situation where you rush to get there on time only to wait around.
But during gatherings at Vila Fortaleza people don't hang around long before the musical instruments come out and the wait is transformed into music-making, singing and dancing.
It's also a great time to go around taking pictures of happy smiling faces.
When the Daime arrives and the people are gathered we head into the forest.
First stop is at the trail-head to hear Pad Luiz talk about the Doctrine's forest origins and the Vila Fortaleza vision of establishing a protected park.
And then into the forest
past the trees carrying the marks of the old rubber-tapping days
and into an opening called the Terreiro de São Pedro (open ground of Saint Peter), in other words "the church."
Here we drink the first doses of Daime
and begin the day of spiritual works with the singing of La Vem Mestre Irineu (There Comes Master Irineu).
Here is an "unofficial" translation of the hymn:
There comes Master Irineu
With his staff in hand
Blessings to all
That are in this salon
Our Master comes happily
To cheer up our party
Bringing the strength of the phalanx
Of the caboclos of the forest
Our great companion
Was Master in the discipline
When the Divine Doctrine
Was planted on Earth
Continuing in the space
Of the superior Astral
Looking after the doctrine
Increasing its value
La Vem Mestre Irineu was received by Madrinha Conceição of Divina Luz in Brasilia and is dedicated to Mestre Conselheiro Luiz Mendes. It has become an anthem opening many of the ceremonies of this line, including this day of spiritual works in the forest.
Divina Luz was my earliest church in Brasilia. It has a strong family vibration and Mad. Conceição and Pad. Daltro were very kind to me, always making me feel "at home" during my first visit to Brazil. Here's a photo of Mad Conceição with Mad Rizelda
Pad Daltro has made his passage but I remember his friendship fondly. He used to tell me, "don't think of me as padrinho, think of me as brother." Here's a photo of Pad Daltro receiving the "thumbs up" from Pad Alfredo.
At the Terreiro de São Pedro we sang the first collection hymns in praise of nature and the forest and then we got back on the trail
to hike to Salão de Copaíba (Salon of the Capaíba -- which is the giant tree shown in the video below) to drink more Daime as Renaldo sang and Jacqueline played the violin.
In this second of three terreiros we sang the Hinario of Edson Alexander who is shown below with his daughter Ana Rosa.
Edson and his lovely wife Evônia recently received the gift of another daughter, Ana Clara. Here's Debora "checking her out".
(If anyone has a photo of Ana Clara please put a link to it into a comment to this post.)
Back to the forest, Copaíba is a very special tree that is sort of a panacea. There are several products -- including soaps and remedies -- that are made from it at Vila Fortaleza. Here is Georgete with some freshly made soaps containing many good things from nature.
Pad Luiz gave several talks in praise of Copaíba and the bountifulness of the forest.
The final work of the day (by then night) is at the Salão do Cipô (Salon of the Vine) where we sang Saturnino's hinario Pequenininho in the rain but it was too dark and too wet for photos. However, there were some very special ones from earlier in the day...
Mad Rizelda and the light
Mayra from Minas Gerais
Jacqueline from Belgium
and the gang from Brasilia
More photos here.