Wednesday, February 2, 2011

OFF TO MEXICO – Yum-m-m!

I'm like a hungry man about to sit down to a hearty four-course meal. That's how I'm feeling on the eve of my 17th trip to Mexico.

As beautiful as Minnesota winters can be, they starve us of sensation. Against this backdrop of bland whites and grays and taupes, we're challenged to find the sustenance of color in detail and nuance—like a rosy cheek or a tenacious crabapple. Smells are served unseasoned, frozen in midair. Sound, too, seems squeezed of its luscious fullness like dried fruit. Even touch is blunted by layers of nylon, feathers and fleece.

In most of Mexico, including Zihuatanejo, Guerrero where I'm headed, climate and culture collaborate to nourish one with colors, sounds, smells and flavors.



The colors: a Minnesotan would be dragged before the neighborhood association for painting his house these vivid shades of pink, blue or gold. The smells: so often they reveal, where sights may not, the real life that's going on beyond the sphere of one's sanitized tourist experience. The tastes: there's nothing dried or preserved about them; they're fresh and true and sometimes surprising. And the touch, oh, the caress of that soft, warm, delicious air pouring in over the Pacific!



Maybe that's it; maybe it's the warmth that unlocks both stimuli and senses. Belying the laid back, unhurried lifestyle, the sensations of Mexico stir in me a subtle sense of urgency. A mango, for example, just picked from the tree outside our villa door, is such a beautiful form just to look at. But no sooner than it begins to blush with full color you have to eat it or it loses its tang and turns to mush. So many beautiful things are transcient.

And Zihuatanejo's a place of seamless flow between indoor and outdoor life. With little notion of that confinement we Minnesotans suffer during winter, you sense everything going on —in El Centro, down at Playa La Ropa out on Zihuatanejo Bay—and want to be a part of it all. But it's okay; anything you do—even nothing at all—feels completely satisfying, completely nourishing of body and spirit.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

How wonderful Jeff! I'm with you all the way. We'll be reawakening our somewhat numb bodies and spirits at a sleepy bay on Cozumel, often in the water greeting our brothers and sisters of the sea. I wonder what an old farm house would look like in hot pink and ocean blue???? Be well!
Zane

Jeffrey Willius said...

Hey, Zane -- thanks so much for visiting OMW! I really appreciate the support.
Yes, I think the new country-Mex color scheme would fly -- at least if there aren't too many Lutherans around. ;-) Enjoy your time on Cozumel.

faith creature said...

may it be feast of all senses. bon appetit! looking forward to more poetic thoughts + photos from the trip.

sue in mexico mo said...

I also leave for Cozumel next week. I like Cozumel, but would rather be in Zihuatanejo. It wasn't my year to choose. :-)

Have fun!

Jeffrey Willius said...

f.c. -- Hi Sommer -- thanks for the comment. I'm keeping my eyes and my spirit open to it all.

Jeffrey Willius said...

Hola Sue -- Cozumel's pretty wonderful too! You're not missing anything here in Zihua. -- it's aweful. Just kidding...
¡Buen viaje!

Anonymous said...

Hola cunado, How I wish I could be there physically! Your words help - I am there when I close my eyes!

Jeffrey Willius said...

Hola cunada. It sure would be fun having you around again, though I'm at about 20% -- with a return case of the brohnchitis a had through Christmas. Pretty frustrating when there's so much to see and do and eat... I hope you'll find time to follow at least now and then. We miss you and this helps us feel connected. Thanks forthe comment!! BTW, I'm also Tweeting every day at least once to see if I can find a way to do it that feels it has some (albeit condensed) value.

Zane said...

The Lady Charlene and I are back from the spirit-filling Cozumel. It was great to take the time to visit with the locals and to enjoy the magic of Mother Ocean. If you look closely (and beyond the tourist circus) there is a sense of contented presence on that little island that makes me smile.
Be well!

Jeffrey Willius said...

Hola Zane -- I'm glad you're open to that presence. We see and feel it here too. It's not to say the Mexican's don't have their problems, but some things they really seem to have gotten right -- patience, generosity, family unity...
Thanks so much for checking in on One Man's Wonder. Our best to you and Charlene!

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