Sunday, September 13, 2009

love amongst the palms


I can't get her out of my mind.


She was my first love in Mexico. I knew I loved here even before I came here.


I met her on the internet. The home of electronic Xanadus and Rosebuds.


Her photographs were stunning. How could beauty like that be real?


And the prose was crafted from gossamer wings.


So, I flew to Mexico. Everything was almost as expected.


But reality has a way of fading our dreams. And this one ended as all fervent romances do -- with cooling coals.


Today, Jiggs and I drove over to see her again.


My first true Mexican love: La Manzanilla.


You can read about that first trip in
a travel log in search of an editor.


The house that drew me to La Manzanilla is still on the market. It sits high on a hill with a view of Tenacatita Bay -- one of the loveliest spots on the face of the earth.


And it is listed at a price that would only get you three good Hondas. As I sat in the truck with Jiggs, all of those feelings I felt back in 2009 came welling up. It was just like seeing an old love. Because I was seeing an old love.


And it was the dilemma we have all faced in our lives: your mind says, it will not work; your heart says this is your dream.


You all know of my saga in Melaque. This summer of heat and bugs has taught me a lot about myself, and I have certainly had an opportunity to exercise my humor.


Add that to the other problems that exist in La Manzanilla: jungle growth, ejido land, lots and lots of steps, water issues, and infrastructure limitations.


This is the beautiful woman with twelve children, personal debts, five prior marriages (none resulting in legal divorces), who has several outstanding arrest warrants. But she assures you, with love you can work it all out.


The relationship where your friends start collecting money for deprogramming sessions.


The head should be a clear winner on this one. But, as I drove back to the house, my head and heart were having a WWF slam down.


My head won. It is hard to live a dream when the only thing keeping the bugs away from you is a river of sweat.


La Manzanilla and I have an understanding. We can't be just friends.


We will be ex-lovers.

10 comments:

PuertoVallartaGirl said...

I love manzanilla. Its where the mexicans go when they go to the beach. calm waters. ejido land though... ouch.

Laurie said...

Whatever you do, don't move to El Salvador. I thought about you during my recent confernce time this week in that hot country. Steam, sauna, and sweat. That pretty much describes my days. Of course I have visited El Salvador many times, and it's a wonderful place .... to visit very infrequently.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Steve, you have come to your senses. The heat in the summer is just too much. Not just for you, but if Jiggs lives thru this, you can not subject him to another summer of overwhelming heat.

Come back to Oregon. You could stay on the Oregon coast for summers, where the temperature is bearable.

If you want heat, come to Bend. Yesterday and today was 90, but the nights were cool.


Mom

Steve Cotton said...

PuertoVallartaGirl -- It is a lovely little fishing village. But it has been "discovered." Before long it will be the next Sayulita. And maybe better off for the trade.

Laurie -- El Salvador did not make the first cut.

Mom -- I have not decided toabandon Mexico, merely not to buy a house in La Manzanilla.

- Mexican Trailrunner said...

I feel the same way about La Manz. In fact, I scattered my mom's ashes there, and would like the same for mine. But living there while still alive and kicking? I chose not to too, by a narrow margin.
If you want to avoid the stifling heat, you must gain elevation!
-MT

Felipe said...

Your mama made me chuckle. That is precisely the response my mother would have given. Come home! Probably most mothers. Mothers do not understand Mexico. Or perhaps they do.

I have been in La Manzanilla (not to be confused with Manzanillo, a whole different ball of wax) just once. April about four years ago, three days celebrating an anniversary. Was absolutely wonderful for a visit. A visit. Nobody much is there in April. We had the entire beach to ourselves, almost. It was not too hot.

A friend lived there one summer. Summer. Said the bugs almost ate him alive. He had planned on living there permanently, but that notion changed rapidly.

Babs said...

I agree with you Steve Tenacatita Bay is one of the most beautiful places on earth. But there ARE more places like that in Mexico, believe it or not! But you're right, Tenacatita ranks at the top....Memory - Flash, the dog and I with our feet in the sand. She with her feet in the sand under the table, me at the table having a few pina coladas and then immersing myself in that beautiful, clear water.....aaaah, but this WAS in January!

Calypso said...

I could use that heat right now in New Mexico - we're cold. Keeping your options open is a good idea - of course mom wants us home ;-)

mdoneil said...

I don't listen to my mother either :)

Susan said...

Hi Steve,
We're planning to move from Gilbert, AZ (burb of phx) to Powers, Oregon. I spent many years in the NW - Anchorage, Seattle, Portland - then came home to AZ to start my family. Now I want to raise my two boys outdoors. Narrowed the options down to Volcan, Panama, and Powers, OR. After visiting Volcan, Powers is winning. It seems to have what I want - less rain, more outdoors and garden time, and RE developers don't seem interested in it the way they are Volcan.
Why did you leave Powers? It just isn't hot enough for you? Any advice about Powers for a family with two young boys? (I unschool them - so education isn't an issue.)