The Pyramid of the Sun

Luisa Kay Reyes

© Copyright 2018 by Luisa Kay Reyes


Photo of woman atop the pyramid of the Sun.

When I found out that we were going to spend two weeks visiting my brother and his family in Mexico City, I knew that there was one archaeological site I simply had to see . . . the Pyramid of the Sun. I had seen it featured in several historical documentaries on television and I just had to take this opportunity to go see it in person. With it being the most visited archaeological site in Mexico, my godmother was real excited when we told her I wanted to go see it. And as it turned out, unbeknownst to us, she had applied for and been accepted as a tourist guide for the English language tours at the pre Columbian site. But with it taking nearly two hours to get there from Mexico City due to traffic, she had to decline the offer. Since she already had plans to go with family and friends to the spas of Ixtapan de la Sal, she couldn’t accompany us. However, she forewarned us to make sure we wore comfortable tennis shoes for the occasion. As one month earlier a German man had fallen to his untimely demise coming back down the 248 steps of what some people estimate to be the third largest pyramid in the world by volume.

On the morning of the day we had selected for our outing, my brother arranged for me to hire his chauffeur for the excursion. We stopped to eat breakfast at the home of a new acquaintance and since we had such a lovely time, I decided to ask our hostess to join us. After a brief moment of shock at the sudden invitation, she realized she had the afternoon free and she hopped into the car with us. From there, we made our way to my childhood friend’s home and picked him up, also. Now that our car was so full, we joked that if we picked up anybody else along the way-we’d have to tie them up on the top of the car like a Christmas tree.

Upon arriving to the ancient Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacan, the chauffeur asked me which entrance he should take. As one would lead us directly to the Pyramid of the Moon while the other would be closer to the Avenue of the Dead and the temple of the plumed serpent, Quetzalcoatl. For me, there was no doubt. I told him to take us straight to the entrance leading to the Pyramid of the Sun. And once we were there, I hired a tour guide to explain to us the significance of some of the stone structures.

The day was sunny and breezy and the lines to climb up the giant pyramid were extensive. As we started making our way up the initial steps of the pyramid, our tour guide pointed out to us some stone carvings that still had some red paint on them. For it turns out that while nowadays the pyramid is grey or beige in appearance depending on whether or not the sun is shining directly on it, originally the huge structure was completely painted a bright red. As were the pyramids in Egypt. Impressed by this tidbit of history, we continued our climb and when we were about a fourth of the way up, we all started panting and gasping for breath. This aspect of the climb was definitely the part left out of our travel guide. Our tour guide, however, assured us that according to local legend climbing all the way up to the top of the pyramid and feeling the energy in the center would add an entire decade to our lives. At the moment, it certainly felt like we’d be needing those extra ten years.

Undaunted, we made our way up to the middle section of the pyramid and when I looked back, I realized my mother was really struggling. She was holding onto the handrail desperately with one hand and with her other hand, she was leaning on the arm of the chauffeur. It dawned on me that in my eagerness to visit the colossal structure, I had never stopped to take that into consideration. For as a lady told me once, to a child their parents remain young, forever. And I had grown up with my mother literally running all the way up to the pinnacle of other historical sites we visited when I was a child. To me, it seemed only natural that she’d be the one leading the way here, as well. Realizing my oversight a bit late, we reached the platform in the middle of the pyramid and my mother decided she’d simply wait for us there.

With my mother assuring us that it would okay, the rest of us continued our upwards climb with our tour guide explaining to us that the pyramid was built over a cave and the center of the top of the pyramid was directly in line with the center of that cave. He also explained to us that the Pyramid of the Moon which we could see from where we were standing, was in line with the North Star. The one star in the sky that never moves, or at least gives the appearance of never moving.

When we finally reached the zenith of the pyramid, we all celebrated and gave each other lots of hugs and cheers. We took in the awe inspiring view and went right to the middle of the pyramid’s center. Where I have to say, that despite being slightly skeptic, I actually did feel the invigorating energy pulsating from it. It was most exciting! After spending some time in the center and, of course, taking several pictures; we started to get back in the line to make our way back down. While the line to go down the pyramid was still very long, the line to climb up it had dissipated to a large extent. And just when we reached the steps to go back down, much to our surprise, my mother appeared out of nowhere. My childhood friend couldn’t believe it. My mother explained to us that when she saw the line was less stagnant, she couldn’t fathom coming all this way and not making it all the way up to the top of the pyramid.

That’s the mother I know!” I happily thought to myself as together we went back to the center of the top of the pyramid. And this time, I felt not only the energy arising from the center of the pyramid itself, but also the buoyant energy from the knowledge that my mother had made it all the way up to the top, too.

Luisa Kay Reyes has had pieces featured in "The Raven Chronicles", "Fire In Machines", "The Windmill", "Halcyon Days", "Fellowship of the King", "Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine", the "Route - 7 - Review", "The Foliate Oak", "The Eastern Iowa Review",  and other literary magazines.  Her piece, "Thank You", is the winner of the April 2017 memoir contest of "The Dead Mule School Of Southern Literature".  And her Christmas poem was a first place winner in the 16th Annual Stark County District Library Poetry Contest. Additionally, her essay "My Border Crossing" received a Pushcart Prize nomination from the Port Yonder Press.

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