Visiting one of the other Americas, I climbed the Pyramid of the Sun. I climbed in single file, the way it had always been done, pausing at each platform to offer prayer.

Once, I stood on the altar at the top of the Pyramid of the Sun, in a place that was built before the words of Christ were even laid down, in a ceremony that was older than even Christ could have imagined when he was living.

I remember the copal, thick white smoke that smelled of pineapple and spices and sex…smoke that enveloped us, cleansing us, carrying our prayers to Spirit. This is not just a memory, but also a dream. This is not just something that happened once, but also what could be.

I remember pausing to steal a glance behind, where a group of locals had gathered just beyond our little circle. They did not ask us what we were doing there. They did not question what a group of nice white ladies wearing red shawls would want with such strange mojo. They stood silently, with arms outstretched and their eyes closed. They stood with their children, who also had their arms outstretched, open in humility and something like awe. They stood waiting for the sweet copal, held in the hands of someone who had traveled almost 2,000 miles, through the ritual of countless centuries, just to bless them with the smoke.