I had been waiting for March. Agata had told me that her teacher of shamanism, Theo Paredes, would be returning to Atlanta for a visit. Six months ago I had gone to her house to receive a healing treatment from him. I wrote about it at the time.
The last time I saw her, she was waving and smiling as my son and I left her house afterwards. She had a collection of smooth river stones on her front porch. I asked her if I could have one and she smiled and said that I could. Bending over to get a closer look, I chose an unremarkable small white one. It fit nicely into the palm of my hand.
“You can put your memories of this day into it,” she said. And we went to a barbecue restaurant that she recommended. As we sat there in the hot August weather, I smiled at Rob and said something like, “A visit with a shaman and a barbecue sandwich. What could be better?’
The first time I met Agata was in 2010. We were both in attendance at a poetry session that John Fox was giving at The Wellness Community. I had my new book, Life With A Hole In It, with me. When I found out that she was a shaman, I asked her to bless it. She graciously took it into her hands, closed her eyes and said a silent blessing on it.
A year or so later, I saw her again when John Fox presented at Cancer Wellness at Piedmont Hospital. Agata came and I got to hear her read a beautiful poem that she had written. I found out she knew John from his visits to The Paideia School in Decatur, where her sons went.
In 2014 my third book, Bigger Than The Sky, came out. Agata had invited people to have healing sessions with her Peruvian teacher and I made an appointment with great eagerness. My son drove me to her home and I went up the long flight of stairs to the room where he was seeing people.
I brought a single sheet of paper with an image of the book cover on it. This time I asked Theo to bless it, which he gladly did. The treatment he gave me was remarkable. Words can never do it justice. It was only after a few weeks had passed that I realized he had taken a large portion of my grief from me. I so wanted to see him again.
Last month I emailed Agata to see if she knew when he would be returning. I never heard from her. It would cross my mind that she hadn’t answered me and I would wait expectantly. Then yesterday I went to her Facebook Page and read that she had died on Feb. 1.
The smooth stone is all I have left of her. That and her glorious radiant spirit. Sometimes we are reminded that there are no guarantees in this world but eternal love. You take it where you find it and if you are lucky, you learn to give it away, as Agata did so generously. Who knows when the earthly journey will end for any of us? I bid her spirit both hello and goodbye. Love travels in infinite circles.