The day was perfect, completely cloudless sky and crisp, clean air. We arrived at Caracol in late afternoon. Climbing around the ruin and hearing the guide tell with sincerity, the activities of those who had lived there so long and I strained to catch a glimpse of them. As evening drew nigh, I could hear in the distance the macaws squawking, fighting among themselves and settling in for the night. I kept thinking some would fly over.
Even as I had longed to see the Maya in the temples so I had longed to see the gorgeous plumage and the silhouette of the big birds in flight across the jungle canopy. Perhaps I had only imagined I heard the squawking. After all, what evidence did I have other than my imagination?
I was determined to somehow make it come true. Yes, I did hear macaws. And in my mind I saw them. They were there as sure as the Maya had been there.
I had purchased a scarlet macaw in the states and also someone had given me one so, using my two as models, I set about doing this fantasy painting. I tried to imagine the place I would most like to be and the answer seemed obvious, right on the branch with the macaws, of course.
It is late afternoon. A shower has just passed. It is time to settle in for the evening. In the fading light I think I see movement down below. Yes, there is a procession coming from the left. The day is April 15th A.D. 556. I squint to see better. I can hear nothing but the beating wings of the macaws and their loud calls. The procession appears to be a celebration of sorts by some of the members with hands raised, dancing and cavorting. Others are obviously bound and with heads bowed, appear to be in intense anguish. There is a chaise born by four men. Inside is someone of importance. It would be Lord Water and the occasion is the defeat of Tikal by Caracol, this being the triumphal return by warriors and king.
Night falls. The macaws are silent. The distant fires on the temple are smoldering and I am getting sleepy. It is time to put the brushes aside and put the lids back on the tubes of paint.