Rolando told me to meet him on the steps of the Teatro Juarez. I thought I was twenty, sitting there with my backpack, waiting for a guy named Rolando.
When I arrived in Guanajuato at the central Jardin with its polished tiles for sidewalks, I was smiling, practically laughing I was so in love with this city of bustling Mexicans and 17th century architecture. “Es un ciudad MUY romantico,” my taxi driver Ernesto had told me. This is a city that was built for walking. A city of pedestrian pathways, people leisurely sitting on park benches without “purpose”. There was something profoundly human about it. All I could think was “What will it take to get my whole family here? Why do I feel so much more alive?”.
The last time I smiled that much I was in a zodiac off the coast of Newfoundland, watching whales swimming around me at arms length.
Rolando arrived and kissed me, politely took my bag and led me up this steep pathway to my apartment.
It would be a week of journalling from the sunny rooftop, taking photos of streetlamps and doorways, seeing paintings in every direction, and fantasizing about living here.. I was hoping for a week of inspiration. It felt more like a tidal wave. The Buddhists say let go, be where you are, live in the now. I was clinging to the moment, enrapt by this wonderful city like a dog with a new beef bone! So non-attachment is, like the streets of Guanajuato, a steep slope. But still shockingly beautiful at the bottom.
It is now two weeks later and I’m sitting in a cafe in Arnprior Ontario, waiting for kids to emerge from the movie theatre across the street. It is a grey day at the beginning of an icy March break. When I order my coffee I barely notice the barrista. In Mexico I would have asked her her name, if she had children, if this was her “negocio” (that delicious name for business),...anything to use up my entire spanish vocabulary.
I chew on the potential to engage with people at home with the same curiosity and delight as I do when I’m travelling.
I think that is called Presence or Acceptance or Non-striving or maybe Letting go....anybody else out there who took the Mindfulness stress reduction course???