Monday, February 17, 2014


The sun tips west, pouring that rare first-dawn light down the valley east of Cerro del VigĂ­a, splashing the early birds on Playa La Ropa, and into Zihuatanejo Bay.

Out over the Pacific, the cloudless sky sweeps southwest forever, its hem soiled in marine layer's dirty gray. Here and there a white speck marks a sport fisherman's fresh hopes in a sea of possibilities. I watch for spouts of migrating humpbacks.

The waters of the bay begin to stir, the first pangas full of restaurant workers motoring slowly from the fishing pier toward Playa Las Gatas. Dark reflections marble the still-placid surface…except there are no clouds. Just the first stirrings of breeze plucking up patches of small waves.

     Back home, we move fast, almost desperately 
     it seems, as if we were afraid something 
     might stick to us. 

Swarms of bait fish roil the waters too. I imagine their terror as muscular jureles or bonita corral them from below. Now and then, in sweeps of shimmering silver, they break the surface en masse.

As sun rises, the water's subtle shades of color suggest the ours-and-theirs duality of Zihua Bay. To the left, the nearly Caribbean green-blue of lighter sands and clearer water—an idealized place where tourists rule; to the right, grayer, murkier hues, the effluent of a working town.

This bay, this town, this atmosphere, it all has a liquid quality. The sea, the sun, time, the unhurried kindness of the people, the way life itself flows—everything moves slowly, forgivingly, immersing one in its magic.

Back home, we move fast, almost desperately it seems, as if we were afraid something might stick to us. Here in Zihuatanejo, it does.


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