I skipped last night’s Independence Day celebration.
Across Mexico, citizens gathered in their town squares to hear a local politician re-enact Father Miguel Hidalgo’s call to exterminate the Spanish.
That was 201 years ago. But it is easy to imagine the local crowd marching down the street and give the Bourbon king a bloody snout.
Melaque is no exception. I have attended a couple of the celebrations. But not last night. I could hear rumblings in the distant that a storm was on its way.
And quite a storm it has been. As if the forces of history mock the local reenactment of the Independence celebration.
Mexico did not get its independence on that night in 1810. There would be over a decade of slaughter. Rifles. Cannons. Beheadings. The cries of bereaved widows and new orphans.
Through the night and the early morning, nature put on its own passion play of power. Sturm und drang on steroids.
When thunderstorms come to the Mexican coast, they are not your sissy flashes of light with an occasional clap of noise.
Lightning here is pure Broadway. Each flash illuminates an otherwise ebony sky. Lighting the night from horizon to horizon.
And, depending on how close the flash is, the inevitable china-rattling boom soon follows. Accompanied now and then with sharper cracks. As if riflemen were advancing under an artillery barrage.
This is not your Washington Irving nine-pins thunder. It is nature in its rawest form using human bodies as timpanis to echo its power and rage.
Mexico often wears its history as a burden. The breach with Spain amplified what Jorge Castañeda Gutman has called Mexico’s fear of The Other.
But nature cares nothing for such political talk. That is a human invention. It is content merely to remind us that we mortals may believe we are in charge of events, but we need reminding that our celebrations do not even show up on nature’s calendar.
And after a night of commotion, the storm has passed. Leaving the roosters to welcome a dawn as peaceful as life should be in Mexico.