The view from my kitchen window allows me to see the world pass by here in the beach side pueblo of San Pancho—a colorful one no doubt, a changing kaleidoscope depending on the time of year.
We live one lot back from the main street, Avenida Tercer Mundo. The overgrown greens bring the pueblo burros and horses—always willing to help out with weed control—right to the front of our kitchen window.
The town soccer field is on the other side of the street, and provides its own myriad of entertainment ranging from weekend soccer games—especially interesting on Sundays—and the daily activity of kids on their bikes, dogs, and of course, the practice of Mexico’s national sport…yes, more soccer.
On the terra-cotta colored planter edge closest to our side of the street, there has been since we moved here a consistent gathering of what I now know to be regulars, but once thought to be wanderers—”suspicious ones”.
And perhaps they are just that—wanderers—but it is here, on this makeshift bench, that they have found their resting spot for the day to sit for hours on end…to look around, sit some more, talk, not talk, watch the world go by, stand up, turn around, go out in the middle of the street, turn around again, only to come back and sit back down on the very ledge of the planter box that called to them early in the morning.
Back in the States, most people—or at least those conditioned to life in the over-crowded, chaotic, heavily-sanctioned and regulated city—would have deemed this “suspicious behavior” and likely called the police, or at least locked the doors, closed the blinds and peeked out from behind the perceived safety of their four walls until such “suspicious people” with their “suspicious activity” left the area.
My life in Mexico has come to show me, has allowed and encouraged me to see—similar to the post I wrote titled “Vecinos”—that sitting and engaging in conversation and taking the day as it unrolls and reveals itself is just part of the natural rhythm and ebb and flow of life in a small town with an interconnected community.
In Southern California our lives were so different, much more agendized, our time more accounted for with “productive” and “meaningful” activity with outward/tangible signs of accomplishment and success, with little down time and minimal contact with Mother Nature, of working from paycheck to paycheck to support ourselves in a non-sustainable system.
Here, we have learned to slow down…to breathe…to take it all in.
We have learned by example from the communal vibra (vibe) of both locals and transplants alike to stop for conversation—eye-to-eye conversation where there is an actual exchange of speaking and listening…unabridged communication.
As we approach the eve of our one-year anniversary of moving to Mainland Mexico, I reflect over so many life lessons learned and life opportunities provided…
Learning to slow down, to enjoy the moment, to feel and listen to my breath, to redefine what is truly important in life has been golden.
I am happy to report that individuals once seen as “suspicious wanderers” have contributed to a radical shift in my life perspective. They are part of this dynamic daily backdrop of life in this vibrant little pueblo of San Pancho. Their presence in the interconnectedness that permeates this community has improved my quality of life and personal evolution.
They are my acquaintances, my neighbors, my friends, part of the collection of life teachers on this ever-winding path of discovery….