Some Magic in Miami

Our cardboard sign had “Peru” written on it for all drivers to see as they sped up the road there in the Florida Keys. Bridget and I had just spent some days down there hanging around marinas and looking for a sailboat that would be heading to or towards South America, where we wanted to be. The timing didn’t seem right, or maybe no one in the Keys wanted to go anywhere else, either way we were now turning to the long road rather than the sea as our avenue to the continent below.

The road lead up through Florida, on and on, through New Orleans and eventually south through Mexico, Central America and questionable passings that eventually let out into South America, Peru is particularly where we wanted to be.

I didn’t know if we could make it there and back with the proper amount of time to take it all in, but I was in go mode, time to move on from this waiting around. People smiled from there cars, one group of kids shouted out, “You’re going the wrong way, dumbass!”, a biker also suggested we head the opposite way. The boat way. The idea of the boat had it’s adventure, but momentum was more important right now.

A lady in a red Mustang convertible gave us a ride, telling us her family had invented the Mustang. She drove us just a short distance to where the road forked and gave us $6, “Avoid Miami!”, she told us before driving off.

We walked a bit from there and soon a guy at a gas station motioned for us to come over and we hopped in. There was another guy in the passenger seat who was intelligible and a third guy in the backseat who was a little slow. They both called the guy driving God, he could only shrug it off as if to say, “Pretty much”.

They dropped us off, now out of the Keys and back to mainland. We got a ride in the back of a van next, where he dropped us off we got a ride from another guy in a pickup truck who was heading to Miami. He let us out at a service station along the freeway before taking the turn into the heart of the city so we wouldn’t get stuck in the mess.

We stood by the exit, but very quickly a cop rolled alongside us. He asked where we were coming from, I gave him the short long answer, “We hitchhiked from California to New York and down to here, Bridget’s from Australia”, this amazed him slightly, it’s always good to throw out long distances to cops to get them on the level.

Despite his temporary amazement, he laid it out for us, “You can’t hitchhike here and you’re not allowed to walk on the turnpike”.

“So...”, I said, looking around at our lack of exits and options. If we couldn’t hitch a ride, or walk on the turnpike, we were trapped at the service station like an island.

“Sorry”, he said as he drove off. We headed towards the service station where we sat on a bench, deciding we’d have a snack and contemplate our situation. Sunset was nearly upon us, but fortune was as well. A girl popped out of the bathroom and asked us what we were up to when she saw our big packs and all.

She had just come from a camping trip that didn’t go as well as planned and was now heading back to Miami. She told us she lived on an organic farm there and then offered to let us come stay there for a bit until we could figure out our next move, we jumped at the opportunity of course.

Now, instead of being marooned at a gas station, we were moving north and had a place to stay the night and friendly faces to meet. Just by swapping our stories we discovered that one of the guys we’d met the marina the day before in the Keys was the brother of someone else living on the farm. We were connected and smiling, laughing down the road as the darkness came just in time to show off the Miami skyline.

The farm itself was in little Hatti, fenced off in a regular neighborhood, walking by I don’t think I’d ever have guessed there was such an oasis inside. Ana, the girl who picked us up, had set up a school house for kids there. There were many little structures and houses scattered around, including a tree house. There were many gardens, trees and animals caged in or roaming free.

On that night we arrived they were having a big potluck party along with a band playing and plenty of people there to enjoy. Life is often easy.

In the morning we watered the garden and got to know some people there better. Bridget went off with some of the women there to do some kind of yoga and chanting session. I wandered around until finding Matrice who was setting up a new area for a garden. I helped him weed for a good while a big spiral of a dirt hole that seemed a bit like a crater.

A while later a guy named Charles Einstein came by to give a talk on a book he’d written called Sacred Economics, a dozen or so people from the community gathered to listen. It became a discussion about the Occupy movement with some people arguing about taking more action while Charles suggested the time wasn’t right to do anything, just wait.

The next day Bridget and I went to South Beach with one of the women there, she was full of life and happy to show us around. We saw a botanical garden, sat on the strip with bucket sized margaritas and went up and down the strip taking in the scene before heading back to the farm for an easy night.

The next day we planned to keep moving on, but first Bridget had offered to give a class to the students. She’d been taking notes and preparing various activities the past couple days and seemed nervous and excited. When it came down to it, the kids had little to no attention span or interest in Bridget’s attempts, they just carried on running around the field doing what kids do.

I sat nearby watching, checking out a turkey that was shuffling around and snuffing, he had soul for sure. I had a jumping contest with a couple kids who were running around, but soon their playtime came to an end and it was back to the school house that Bridget and I had been sleeping in the past nights.

Before we left one of the guys took us around the garden, filling us up with some bags of veggies and peppers which we happily accepted. We said our thanks and goodbyes and were on our way. Bridget was in awe, we’d earlier stood amongst the garden while she welled up a bit reflecting on the blessed life she lead, this would be another example in both of our lives. Now, with our “PERU” sign in hand, it was time to hit the road and keep it going.

January 20, 2012 to January 23, 2012