Today I cross the carretera, choose the little bus that goes through the village first. I like the little bus best. It’s more simple, more bare bones, has no curtains, no cushions. All the windows are flung open, and kids in their school uniforms chatter and laugh and shout. Older Mexican women get on with their heavy groceries, sometimes only riding for a few blocks along the narrow cobblestone streets. I like being drenched in the bustle. By the time we get back up to the highway again, things have quieted. The after-school flurry is over.
The bus heads west. I breathe in wet earth from last night’s rain. I settle into my seat. I am going again to the next town over, to San Juan Cosolá. The wind blows in, making straight dark hair dance against the backs before me. The driver has the radio up loud, and ranchera music washes around us like the summer air. In the midst of all that is familiar, that for all its foreign-ness has become home to me, I am overcome. It happens to me often on this stretch of road, a kind of Mexican enchantment, I think. But still I am surprised. I am taken by a big burst of joy to be living here in Mexico, joy washed by gratitude that makes my eyes brim.
I look out the window, my throat tight, my heart pushing against my ribs. I watch the hills, a swathe of color on my right. I catch glimpses of the lake in the distance on my left. My mouth is open now, my jaw loose, half taking it all in, half awe. I wonder if part of what overtakes me on these bus rides is that seated on the bus among these dark-headed people, I feel a part of things. We are in this together, this riding on the bus with the air rushing in and the music resonating in our bones. On the bus, I feel like I belong.
Isn’t there a way you can go back ? Perhaps spend part of the year there?
Oh, I do hope so, Madhu. It isn’t possible right now, but that is my dream. I’d spend the rainy months there, I think, or move back altogether one day, perhaps.
So glad you decided to continue with writing about your experiences in Mexico. It offers so much more for those of us who have only been there as
Thank you, Marylou. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate hearing this. I still struggle with it, and it made me especially anxious about it because I was so far behind. But then it turned out I was able to come up with four to get caught up, and I was pleased with all of them (and even “liked” two of them enough to use the button!). So that was a lovely thing.
I’m so glad you and Richard are enjoying them. :)
I plan to keep hanging in there with this theme—and I’m still hopeful something will shift, and it will become easier to maintain through the rest of my year!