Amid winter's thrall: a fire in the hearth, lights glittering within, reflecting back, and paradoxical yellow flowers to remind us of spring!
And here -- a closeup of just one facet of this improbable radiant jewel of wintertime.... but:
The Enigma! ...for the "woo-woos" among you: Click on the first photo and look more carefully at the reflections in the windows. Yes, in the window on the right, the flight of birds can be explained: a mere reflection of a metal sculpture hanging on another wall. But who is that man with longish-hair in a light-colored gown--just THERE!--between the tree's top and the star in the other window? WE don't know.... but we like it.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
It is with great sorrow in my heart, tears in my eyes, that I post this photo. Here is Edith, and her beloved son Gustavo (renamed Luis by others). I took this photo in the happy times... when she would drop by our porch every day. Together we watched Gustavo graduate to crawling and toddling -- a mischievously delightful child, dearly loved and watched over by his mommy. Edith was so proud of him, and so proud to BE a mommy, and she took a job in the village doing laundry to support him....
I do not know why she left the village. I presume she wanted to do even better by him -- to earn more money and provide him with a better home than the one she shared next-door to us, with her brother and her grandfather.
I do not know, really, what happened -- though I suspect her birth-father across the road from us knows, along with his wife. It's hard to write this. Did she fall under the spell of drugs and alcohol, the fear of poverty, the prospect of a better life, the tyranny of a lover? The lover, by whom she was pregnant again, DID say he would not raise that boy-of-another-man. Edith was pregnant by this lover, and so she gave up her beloved Gustavo, back to our village -- back to her grandfather (little Gustavo's great-grandfather). He was renamed Luis.
Luis was initially horrifically traumatized -- yet he and I resumed our daily joyfulness together -- though now, he would not speak. Nevertheless, daily he came to me, and in pantomime, asked me to play my dulcimer, and then he would roll up in a blanket and lie silently for long stretches of time. He loved my toys, especially the truck that honked....
And then he was gone. But it was GOOD! He'd been adopted in Zihuatanejo by relatives of his who longed for a son. They have two daughters. The mother runs a daycare preschool, the father apparently has a plant nursery. They love little Luis. He loves them. When he visits the village now, he is a normal, active, mischievous, talkative, creative young lad. He remembers me. Posted earlier in this blog is a drawing he gave me (as well as a photo of him drawing it) -- a smiling golden heart. I had always called him "Corazon del oro." He was listening.
One day, Luis was visiting, and so was Edith with her little toddler daughter. Luis showed no indication whatsoever that Edith had ever been his mother... but he was happy and very busy playing. Edith, on the other hand, was utterly changed. No longer the joking, happy, and loving woman -- dear friend -- that we had known. She said not a word when we sat down beside her. She seemed dull and lifeless. Her daughter played nearby, dressed prettily in red velvet. Edith sat with us a short while and then silently got up and walked out of our lives forever....
Not long afterwards, we got word that she had been brutally murdered -- by a gang of men, probably from the bar where she served drinks. It was late at night and she was walking home when they assaulted her. All we know, all I know (I have not asked for details beyond those given me), is that her body was found, naked, slashed brutally about torso and face -- floating in the river.
Her sweet daughter -- there is a happy ending for her too. The father is apparently out of the picture -- but she has been adopted by her blood-grandfather who lives across the road from us and he and his wife have two small kids close to her age. She is completely bonded to them, now -- to a loving and close family. She is happy here. She even loves ME! Walking alone (at age what, 3?) down the village street, she just might catch a glimpse of me in my ramada up the hill -- and she will sing out a happy greeting with a wave to me. I pass by her house -- again, she calls out with a big smile and a wave. She is at ease visiting my playroom... And from time to time, Luis and family drop by as well.
I would love to hug Edith, to tell her that her children are happy and well -- and that she has wonderful children, and that I loved her very much, and that I know her heart was that of a deeply loving mother, and a playful happy soul.
This is the most frustrating exercise in futility -- simply trying to add photos to previous blogs. Now I have opted to put them ALL on, but even now, I cannot control in what order they appear, nor have I the patience to upload them ALL at once.
So, gentle reader, enjoy the scroll through rather randomly added photos... Not all that I tagged for uploading even showed up!
To begin with -- the above photo is me, inadvertently dressed to match our house!
And above is the finished bowl -- one of a number of Robert's woodworking projects of beauty.
While here is modernity in Mexico -- listening to Hamza Al Din's "Waterwheel" in a hammock.
A glimpse of this year's (2010) Halloween crowd, in our ramada. Annual tradition, this.
...and a heart-stopping warning! My first day this visit, merely wending my way down to the river, I encountered this cheerful message
"CAUTION! CROCODILES IN THE WATER".
I proceeded watchfully down to the river-crossing only to find mothers calmly bathing their children, not a care in the world. The story is in this blog somewhere.
But here we have two of three intended photos of Robert working on a wooden bowl. The photo of the finished bowl is above this. His work is beautiful, and as you can see from even these two photos -- a great deal of work. Not pictured: seeking out and transporting the logs from which these bowls are revealed within.... no mean feat, believe me.
For instance, one afternoon Robert disappeared with the car to get a log he'd been eyeing along the highway and came home in the deep dark of night. Guille and Sara shared my concern (accident? arrest? ambush?) as the hours ticked by. He arrived grinning, with his prize tree trunk practically tipping the car's nose in the air!
No photo album is complete without at least one beautiful sunset over the sea. Here's one now!
The above photo depicts Sunday Tiritas! Every Sunday, Guillermo and Sara, and their three at-home kids (Memo, Sandra, Ariana) come over bringing the feast with them. Guille catches the fish and prepares them with lime juice, and they arrive with fruit drinks and utensils. A great tradition.
Below, you see one of the many beautiful flowers that delight us daily. This one grows IN the stream itself. I have no name for it, but beautiful:
And in keeping of "every man 'neath his vine and fig tree" -- here is Robert holding just-plucked figs from our fig tree, and crouched beside our blossoming jamaica bushes (hibiscus, to you).
And here, another taste of how sweet it is. Village kids love to drop by, even that young some of them are brave enough to come alone: and pick out their favorite toys and play with them in our ramada. Here they play with Noah's Ark.