I love this picture. It was taken at a party in San Miguel the other night by Richard Quick, a photographer who was also at the party. I love this photo because I had no idea it was being taken. I was hanging out with a new friend I’ve met here, Martha. This was the second time Martha and I had been at a party together, so we were feeling comfortable enough with each other to just act silly. I don’t remember what we were clowning around about, but I love that Richard was able to capture a random moment so perfectly.
Last night Fred and I had gone out to dinner and were walking back to our house. We decided to take the long way home and walk through the center of town, where the Parroquia (that very ornate, very photographed, pink church) sits and keeps watch over the square. There were some people just relaxing in the Jardin…families, couples, people with dogs, bands that were playing and passing the hat. From inside the church we could hear a woman singing acapella. I had no idea what she was saying, but the sound could only be described as compelling. We didn’t hesitate to go inside to see the source of this remarkable voice. As is usual with moments, the minute we entered the singing stopped. There were maybe 40 people inside the church and the woman who had been singing was now speaking to them in Spanish. We turned and walked away. As we exited the church doors, to walk down to the steps leading to the sidewalk, the bells started to ring. Since we were right under the sound it felt like it was vibrating inside my body. That was another Mexican moment. When we reached the bottom of the stairs, the bells stopped.
As we walked through the square and headed down Zacateros to our house I said to Fred, “This is like walking in a dream.” At that moment it occurred to me…I have so often over the years dreamed of living in Mexico. The appeals in some ways are obvious. I like the weather. I love the colors. The food really suits me. I love the culture. I love that there are so many reasons for parades, and music, and dancing. I have always wanted to learn a foreign language. I find it stimulating to be in a country where everyone doesn’t look like me. I am really ready not to be in the South of my childhood. All these are rational reasons. But the real reason is much harder to express. It doesn’t come from my intellect, it comes from my heart. The real reason is that when I am in Mexico, my soul takes flight. When I am in Mexico I feel like I am much more in contact with my true self. When I am in Mexico I have these moments that completely take my breath away with their simple beauty.