Nacientes Zen, Zen Springs

Around 1996, I purchased some abandoned pastures from my neighbor, Don Cornelio. At the time, the vegetation was an impenetrable thicket. It was not possible to see the lay of the land, and it was not practical to make trails. I waited about fifteen years, for the thicket to grow into forest, and then I made the trails. In the process, I discovered one of the most beautiful places on my property, which I have named Zen Springs.

It is a valley up in the hills. On the north side of the valley there is a large rock face, covered in ferns, perhaps thirty feet high and a hundred feet long. On the south side of the valley there is a scattering of huge rocks. One time when I passed through with my daughter and her friends, I asked each of them to count the rocks, privately. As we exited the rock field, we compared counts. Two of us counted nine, and one counted ten. The largest of the rocks are to the west, taller than a human. As we move east, the rocks get smaller, the lowest barely emerging above the ground (perhaps just the tip of the iceberg). It is these large rocks that remind me of the Zen gardens of the Buddhist temples of Kyoto.

The valley is shaped like a large bowl, open to the west, in the basin of which there emerge springs, which form a swamp, out of which a stream flows to the west. The valley of Zen Springs is the birthplace of a stream, which I call Quebrada Zen (Zen Stream).

There is also an odd formation on the north side of the swamp, just to the east of the rock face. Here the flow of water has carved a kind of trench, which in places runs below the ground, forming a tunnel, which reemerges to the east. It is undoubtedly a refuge for a variety of animals. Some years before I discovered this tunnel formation, my neighbor Don Isaias had described it to me.