Leah Berger : Ayni Dance


Sweet land, go forth, produce all that you can.  Take all that is here. 

Ayi Aaa: We are a long time ago here
We are a long time ago here.
Make us your soul purpose.
To Earth, with love, make your soul purpose
Rhythm, walls of the canyon say, is the heart of this place.
Go to the heart.
We are lonely here.
Put us into your heart
give us something we call, light.
All helpers of water, earth and soul, 
We are going to be your soul purpose.
Anything you can do, will be your heart’s purpose
we are here
we are here
All is well. All is well. All is well. 


I am living with the light of service shining into and out of my heart.  There is no other way to be in the world, now that I am in alignment with what I know to be true and real: there are beings of light with us always, and we are light beings ourselves, simply present here in bodies on a beautiful planet. I came here to be a planetary helper, and so my task is to serve the earth and all of her beings as a star spirit awakener-to bring the gifts of the elders and the cosmos through story and song so that we may further support a path toward love, beauty,and balance in the universe.

To carry out a purpose is a task both big and small.  I was inspired to do this dance at Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center  in Cerrillos, New Mexico, because it is a place that has served as a resting place for me in multiple ways over the years and through my travels. The land is indeed a bit of a crossroads. Ampersand is nestled between the small towns of Madrid and Cerillos, surrounded by beautiful rolling hills and the mountains of Santa Fe off to the north. The Santo Domingo are the closest known tribe to inhabit the area. The land was also once part of a railroad line that transported coal from the mines of Madrid.

This dance is informed by the concept of Ayni, the Andean principle of mutualism that recognizes all is connected  and that every act deserves something in return. The mutualism of friendship is at the foundation of my relationship to the land at Ampersand. I met Amanda in my early twenties, while canvassing for the Center for Biological Diversity in Tucson, Arizona. Though our lives have landed us at different places in the deserts of the Southwest, we have both retained the path of service to the earth. Amanda and Andy are in constant dialogue with the land, living as gently as possible off of the grid, while at the same time nurturing growth through restoration efforts which I have been honored to witness throughout the years. This spot, aptly named Puzzlepiece Arroyo, joins all of those stories together and so many more which have yet to be told.


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