Manna from Heaven (9)

It is April, my first spring break in ten years. I am indulging in yerba maté this week, and my first cup of tea is exquisite. I walked with my lime umbrella this morning, neon green against the bright clouded sky, the rain a gentle rhythm against the fabric, the storm clouds clinging to the rims of our mountains. It made me wish I had my camera. Now the sun is shining and the barest spattering of rain is coming down. My father told me there are Native Americans who believe when this happens, this joining of rain and sunlight, a new moose is born. Today there are two new moose. My empty teacup beside me on the patio table, I open my notebook to write. A small white rectangle of paper drifts out of it, falls into my lap. Auntie Christel’s old cell phone number is scrawled on one side. I turn it over and see it is the tiny flyer for yoga classes in Ajijic. At first, I just stare at the little slip of paper in my hand, dumbstruck. It may as well have fallen from the sky, I think, than to flutter out of my composition book like that, a piece of the world I left behind.

cropped image of the yoga flyer

My mind begins to work again. It must have slipped in the other day when I was using my notebook as a table, writing thank you cards against my knees, paying the dentist bill, when I had my pathetic address book out, stuffed with a crazed fat pile of other little scraps of paper collected over the last handful of years. I remember I picked up the flyer at the health food store in Ajijic, the one next to the nursery at the bottom of my hill, on the frontage road beside the carretera. I bought big bags of yerba maté there from Argentina, the best I’d ever tasted, and the herbal tincture for Sofia’s urinary tract issues. I read the flyer now, surprised I don’t know all the words. When I lived there, I wasn’t really working to build my vocabulary, was just trying to keep up from day to day. I’d understood the gist of the words on the flyer, and that was all I needed. But now I am struck by the language, and I remember the woman wasn’t in practice for the expatriate community there. Indeed, if she had been, I think, the flyer would have been in English. She taught the Mexican community, maybe Mexican tourists, as well. I look up “bienestar,” well-being. “Come and recover your vigor, health and physical well-being.”

I have returned to yoga at last after long years of abandoning it, and now I wonder what it might have been like if I’d returned years earlier. What if I had acted on the longing that awoke in me when I picked this up that day in Ajijic? Would my life have moved differently? I remember the woman taught out of her home in La Floresta. It was in a neighborhood south of the highway, a block, maybe two from the lake on an east-west street. I saw a sign for yoga on a wall there in one of my wanderings. I loved the feeling of those streets, the oldness, the buckled sidewalks, the moss on colored walls, the big trees, the birds, the quiet. The sign for yoga was on a nine-foot painted wall beside a metal gate, a bell. There were huge old trees that canopied the yard behind the wall. I remember standing outside admiring it all. I ached to return to yoga there, to let the peace of that place permeate me. But I didn’t get myself there, and then I moved away.

wall with fuchsia metal door

“Hatha yoga is a discipline that teaches the natural way to live,” her flyer says, and I am struck by that now, by how simple and how true it is. I’m grateful I’ve returned to the practice after more than a decade. And holding this slip of paper in my hands, stroking the Spanish words, evidence of my life in another world, I am struck again by the generous nature of the universe. How many many times are we offered these gifts, these chances to be supported? If I had stayed in Ajijic, would I have made my way one summer morning to Evelia Lara’s home behind that wall, my body eager to return to the practice, the cobblestones wet beneath my feet from last night’s rain? I wonder, and I rub my thumb across the scrap of paper from another life. I marvel, too, at the way it fell from the sky today, manna for All Things Mexico.

3 thoughts on “Manna from Heaven (9)

  1. Wow. Thank you, Natalia! :)

    (May I call you Natalia?)

    I am honored, especially since I so love your blog.

    I think I have a few questions, so I’ll come visit your post about it soon to ask you there.

    Thanks very, very much! :)

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