Sunday, April 18, 2021

Surfing A Big Wave


It is like surfing a big wave, moving to Mexico. I have been swept along, thrilled to be in each moment, feeling I could fall dangerously, having to concentrate, realizing life has momentum and it is necessary—not looking back.

Oh boy, I wish I could speak better Spanish. Yet people make an effort to help understand. I have been in many countries for lengthy stays while not being able to speak Arabic, or Italian, or Thai or Vietnamese etc… somehow happiness happens. 

There are inconveniences that are actually small things which I notice because I am spoiled by privilege. The house has a cistern that needs refilling regularly. Once a week water pours in from the city, but twice we ran out and had to have a “pipe” truck, (pronounced pee-peh) come pump potable water to our home. If gas gets low, we have to listen for the gas truck come by . . . listen, because he announces himself driving through villages with the sound of a mooing cow blaring from his loudspeaker.

Then there is the traffic in Oaxaca.  Streets fill with cars and trucks going nilly-willy with a mix of motorcycles, buses and taxis added in. We bought a car we like but Amy won’t drive in the city. Good thing I was a taxi driver during my student days in Baltimore so I know how to hug bumpers like the best of them. Sometimes vehicles almost brush each other . . . yet, I have told Amy several times, “We haven’t seen a single accident yet!"

I like that we are having a beautiful iron railing made by a master craftsman and artist who can also make mirrors, screens, lampshades, coat racks, just about anything. And a couple days ago, we had a furniture maker deliver two tables and two cabinets for our art studio. The cost of materials and services is easy to afford. Our water bill for the entire year is about USD 25.00. So for any problem there appears to be solutions . . . just different.

Years ago, when my mother learned I planned to travel to sub-saharan Africa, she begged me not to go, saying, “Oh Steven, don’t go, you will be killed for your shoes!” I went and loved my experiences on safari, being with Masai tribes people, and going “clubbing” with newly made African friends in Nairobi. 

I brought to Mexico a painting by my mother I inherited. I like the title—called “Go Jump in a Lake". It hangs outside our guest bedroom. That sums up a lot.

The wave is big, and has its own life and requirements. The trick is to stay in the moment and enjoy the ride to the journey’s end. 

by  Khalil Gibran

It is said that before entering the sea
a river trembles with fear.

She looks back at the path she has traveled,
from the peaks of the mountains,
the long winding road crossing forests and villages.

And in front of her,
she sees an ocean so vast,
that to enter
there seems nothing more than to disappear forever.

But there is no other way.
The river can not go back.

Nobody can go back.
To go back is impossible in existence.

The river needs to take the risk
of entering the ocean
because only then will fear disappear,
because that’s where the river will know
it’s not about disappearing into the ocean,
but of becoming the ocean.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Pace yourselves.
Stay safe.
Love the poem.