Friday, March 11, 2011


(This reflection was originally posted on ZihuaRob's Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa Message Board 3/10/11. It's a reminder to those who've adopted this lovely Mexican Pacific coastal resort area as their home or second home not to take for granted the many sensory blessings they enjoy.)

We've been back home a week now, and I'm still wrestling with the re-adjustment back to the "real world."

Our time in Zihuatanejo is pretty idealized. No schedules, few stresses, permission to indulge a bit, chances to grow in new ways. But every time we come home, those freedoms get neatly slotted back into our usual routines and expectations; the casual friendships of vacation give way to the true, hard-won kind; and before we know it, life's more or less back to normal.

Nine out of ten Minnesotans not only paint their houses white, gray or tan, but wear the darkest, least colorful clothing ever made.

Still, there's a sort of ache that lingers. At first, I thought it was just a matter of missing that ideal vacation lifestyle. But the more I reflected on it, the more I realized it's a hunger pang. Hunger for the sights, sounds, smells and touch of a place that, for those precious few weeks every year, nourishes my senses in ways few other places can. More than anything, I'm craving the color.

Don't get me wrong; I love home. There's no place I'd rather live. But, as we broke through the overcast on our approach to MSP last Thursday, I could swear the passengers let out a subtle, collective gasp as the flat, grayscale landscape faded into view. Nothing but whites, grays and…even the "evergreens" looked black.

In the week since, a few more inches of snow have fallen atop the 80 we've already had; the sun has all but refused to shine; and I'm more aware than ever that nine out of ten Minnesotans not only paint their houses white, gray or tan, but wear the darkest, least colorful clothing ever made. Alas, even our skin dares no color.

As a self-identified Mexican in a former life, I'm starving!

But we Minnesotans are, if nothing else, long-suffering. As we do every year, we'll make it through to spring, when we once again partake of our own fleeting feast of color. Until then, here I sit, a glutton for color, stuck somewhere between memory and hope.

So, you lucky vacationers, you expats and especially you native Zihuatanejenses, be aware of the sensory banquet spread out before you every day. Savor the colors of nature and culture. And be grateful you're not as black and white and blue as I.


JH said...

Dear Jeff,
You say this so beautifully; your expression of the influence of color on senses is brilliant.
It's cloudy here and I can identify with your hunger for color.

When I returned from Tequis, I painted my kitchen the Tequis orangey color, installed the colorful tiles which I also bought in Tequis - remember that trip?
The glow of the beauty of the rich color in my small kitchen and the memory of the trip bathed me every time I entered that room.
I wonder if my tenants are enjoying it as much as I did.

Jeffrey Willius said...

JH -- Oh, yes, I remember well our trip to Tequisquiapan...and your quest for those tiles. If your tenants aren't appreciating your gift to their famished senses, they're just not paying attention!

Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting One Man's Wonder! I'd love to hear your comments on this post or my site in general.
And please stay in touch by clicking on "Subscribe" below.