Monday, April 26, 2010

And the band played on...

....rather Titanic-like, I thought! Nearly the entire village was gathered in a festooned yard celebrating the third Quincenera (a cute touch) of an esteemed matron. The band´s music was amplified to "ear-splitting" and everyone was in very high spirits even rather risque at times. In the brief pause between songs, however, with no warning whatsoever --an EARTHQUAKE shook the ground, the people, the tables -- and the air was filled with a terrific grinding noise. Following that, a moment of utter silence. But then! Moments later, the band cranked right back up with the next song! As they did so, everyone cheered! and they set to dancing all the more! Yes! ..and the band played on.

Three days later at the Quicenera of a truly 15'year'old, I casually asked a dear friend of ours, a fisherman, how the fishing was. There aren´t any fish anymore he said, looking me directly in the eye. The earth is dying, he added. Scientists are saying we will have to move to the moon or to Mars. Pollution is destroying everything, he said. ....and the band played on.

Then there´s a local loner in the village who frequently cranks up his very own amplifier and microphone and treats EVERYone to his, um, his style of singing. He cannot carry a tune, but he is loud. His words are unintelligible to the rest of the village... but this one'man band plays on.

And one night very recently, the deep peace of 2am was destroyed by the loud screeching of our favorite chicken. She had chosen a cardboard box in our yard to lay 13 eggs -- 12 hatched. We were actively working on fortifying her lair to protect her brood from predators, but there was a weak spot still, and thus, the loud screeching. Robert leaped (successfully!!!) out from under our mosquito netting, outsize flashlight in hand --leaped off the porch, through the flower garden and was there in seconds.

The hen was screeching away at a far distance, and in the lair were feathers and tiny bodies -- and a tlacuache heading viciously straight for Robert´s ankle. WHACK! Robert got it on the head and pushed the head hard onto the ground... it wobbled and then ran into the jungle. "They´re all dead," he said. By then I was right there already and we stood helplessly and so sad, grieving really, and watching as the hen raced around the yard screeching.....

But then we learned something! HA! HEY! She was calling for her chicks! And they came! Each from a completely different direction, half of her brood reassembled, leaping over small sticks, wings extended --and then they settled under her protective wing. So! Six lived. Six is good. We covered them all with a large overturned flowerpot for safety -- and with the morning´s sunrise, we were delighted to discover a SEVENTH chick waiting outside the flowerpot. Before sunset, there came an EIGHTH chick. ...and the band played on.

Days later, as I was teaching myself to play "Fur Elise" and "Jesu, Joy of Man´s Desiring" on my guitar, a new kid (to us -- a village kid, clearly, but we had never met him before) came by. "I speak English," he said. And he does. Raised in Beaverton, Oregon -- but with deep village roots so that Spanish was still his first language and he has a slight accent in his flawless English... He and family have moved back home for good, he said. He spent the sweetest day with us alternating between learning to play "Fur Elise" with me, and watching how Robert makes wooden archery bows from a tree trunk. The band plays on.....

Oh, and periodically, there have been really great waves both for surfers and boogiers. Full moon´s a-risin´and that means BEEG waves a-comin´! Y├íll come on down. The band is playing.

1 comment:

Sara Ransom said...

Me commenting on my own post -- Just before leaving for this towntrip to Zihuatanejo, we saw the mother hen lurching and falling, wings spread all cockeyed. A village kid said that clearly, she had been stung by a scorpion. Give her garlic. We ground up a clove and got it down her mouth, put her in the shade, with water, and propped up upright with two bricks. We shall see if garlic does the trick upon our return. The 8 chicks hovered nearby as we left...