We left our hotel in Laredo and crossed the border into Mexico Monday morning. The journey to San Miguel de Allende went without incident (well…..other than finding the only entry road we knew to the Immigration Office blocked off, and having to figure out a back way through Nuevo Laredo to get the Tourist Visas we would need to pass checkpoints). The drive was more beautiful than I remembered. The rainy season still is in it’s last weeks and the hills are lush. The mountains are magnificent and many passes dropped us into valleys filled with wildflowers and thick green pasture. We took one break from the road here in Matehuala Monday night, and then covered the last miles.
We arrived in SMA Tuesday, and it is hard to describe the feeling of finally being back after. Our first night we were just in time to arrive, unload the car, get the cats settled in, and walk down to the Centro to catch a spot on a rooftop terrace for a view of the sunset. A block off the Jardin, we were showered with fireworks just above us. Serendipity (not the original schedule plan) had dropped us into this beautiful city in the middle of the celebration of Independencia. Cheers and bangs rang out and the sky was filled with sparks and sparklers. Our stroll to dinner a couple blocks away was highlighted with a burning spinner disk that landed on the in the street on the cobblestones 15 yards behind us sent us scurrying and laughing…..and a couple car alarms barking.
We will be here until January, and it feels like Independence. I have yet to watch any television here (and yes…..we have cable and can watch the major US networks if we choose). We are free from the slog of the road and “the next destination”. Instead of setting an alarm clock I wake up naturally (and earlier) to the sounds of roosters and dogs in the barrio. There is the sound of an occasional pickup on the gravel and cobblestones streets as a neighbor heads out to work. I wake up to the sounds of kids laughing and chatting as they walk down the path by the arroyo that butts up against the back of the house as they walk to school.
The last couple days’ to-do lists and errands have been a pleasure. Having a to-do list here means walking into the Centro from our little Colonia at whatever pace feels right. Strangers exchange smiles and make way for each other on the narrow stone sidewalks and you feel a part of the city. There’s a stop at a couple small tiendas, and paperwork to be filled out at our mail service to obtain a number and a box. A stop at Juan’s cafe to buy some coffee beans and have them ground precedes a step across the way to the Biblioteca for a library card. Familiar faces at most stops bid me welcome back and ask “how long are you staying this time…..or are you just staying?”
When the sun is high and the afternoon is getting warmer it’s time to head back home. Anything not checked off the list can carry over. There’s always manana, and here manana doesn’t necessarily mean tomorrow. It just means not today.