The Brawny Sherpa and I are not long in Peru when we notice recurring images of condors, pumas, and snakes. These are the figures in the Incan trinity, our guide informs us. The imagery is on contemporary art and found in the Incan ruins we are about to explore.
In these three animals, sky, earth, and the underworld are represented. Condor, we learn, is the only bird strong enough to fly up to the heavens and deliver messages to God. Also, condor does not hunt and only eats the dead. What condor eats comes harmlessly from the earth and goes back to it. Puma has patience and strength. The snake travels to the underworld, and when it sheds its skin, is reborn, transformed. This is a circle of life I can embrace.
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