Saturday, March 2, 2013

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 20th 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 out of its luscious fullness like dried fruit. Even touch is blunted by layers of nylon, feathers and fleece.

A Minnesotan would be dragged before the neighborhood association for painting his house these vivid shades of pink, blue or gold.

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 off 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.


sue in mexico mo said...

Great post! I just returned from Mexico (the country) to Mexico, MO, and lots of snow. Very tired of snow . . .
Have fun!

Laurie Buchanan said...

I was recently in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Thank you for sharing your experience and photos.

Jeffrey Willius said...

Hi Sue -- If memory serves, you were not headed for Zihuatanejo this time, right? Where'd you go and how was it?
Thanks for letting me know you stopped by OMW -- really appreciate it!

Jeffrey Willius said...

Hey Laurie -- You're welcome. More to come, I'm sure, over the next few weeks as we slow down and soak it all in. Thanks for the comment.
BTW, I love San Miguel! Lovely place.

spldbch said...

My husband is from Jamaica. In Jamaica, as in Mexico, they like to paint their houses bright colors. Recently, we wanted to paint our home here in Virginia. We couldn't agree on a color! He picked colors like yellow and turquoise. I picked colors like ecru and taupe.

Jeffrey Willius said...

Hey spldbch - Hey, mon, ecru & taupe aren't that bad. Sometimes it seems the color choices in Minnesota (for homes, clothing, cars...everything) range from white to gray.
So-o-o, who won the color debate in your family?

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.