Thursday, August 16, 2012

Touched

     I found an old travel article while cleaning out my filing cabinet.  While it did not arouse the same depth of nostalgia that my old passports did, it still touched me.  You see, I still recall the sense of mystery as I walked those ancient, cobbled streets, and pushed through the crowded market stalls, villagers passing with colorful attire, embroidery identifying their village, toughened feet in leather sandals, car tire soles squeaking on the oily concrete.
     At that time in my life I was roaming the world, jetting here and there, dropping into people's lives but never staying, just touching and moving along before things got complicated.  And it was in Yucatan I found a home, in this 'troubled little brother' of Mexico, as one author called it, a place called 'I do not understand.'  For when the Spanish conquistadors landed and asked the Maya, in Spanish, the name of this place, the Maya answered 'I do not understand': Yucatan.
     It is a region apart from the whole of Mexico. A different flavor fills life here, a seasoning of ancient spices and attitudes, a daily routine even further from schedule than the rest of Mexico, an idea very hard to grasp for most Americans and Europeans.  In a country that had once gone to war over pastries, in a region known for being unique, where the Maya move among the Mexicans as though hidden, I found a home, a bond, a place to fit in.  It was here my heart sang, where I awoke from my hammock each morning with a song on my lips, brought with me from some sweet dream into waking life.  It was here I found the courage to go within painful memories and fashion a novel.  Somehow this peninsula, jutting into the Gulf Stream of life, baked in the sun, would always be my home, would always call to me from memory, like the voice of an amazing mistress, so well versed in who I am, a part of me.