Thursday, September 29, 2016

the road taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
It is undoubtedly Robert Frost's most famous poem -- musings about life's choices and then indulging in a bit of narcissistic self-satisfaction at his own wisdom. To use a word despised by most artists, it is "accessible." We like it because we can see our own smug smirks in its conclusion: "And that has made all the difference."

Maybe. But for most of us, life is not that Manichean -- or to chuck the theological for the contemporary -- not that digital. Our choices are seldom lined up like 1s and 0s just waiting for us to turn the switches on or off.

Take this morning. Barco and I were off on our usual walk where I do my best to keep him from stopping to smell every rose of urine.  Today, he was actually moving along with me at a nice clip.

On our regular route, we ran into a neighbor -- the mother of my real estate agent, who was walking her pug. She asked me if I had taken Barco out on the sand point at the end of the street.

I had. Once before when he was a puppy. But I had not been out there since. And I have no idea why. It is the perfect place to walk a dog.

The neighborhood where I usually walk Barco is a refuge for the middle class -- northerners and Mexicans. It was not always so. The land was developed by a very powerful Mexican family. Powerful enough that the original Mexican residents were moved north (some say involuntarily) -- outside of the development into the neighborhood where I live.

But the family's power is best evidenced by another building. The luxury hotel they built on the other side of the laguna from Barra de Navidad. Having encountered some building difficulties, the family had enough clout to have the state border altered. One day the hotel was in Jalisco. The next day it was in Colima. Now, that is clout.

The road we took this morning is built atop a spit of sand that provides footings for the poles that provide electricity to the former slice of Jalisco. Its utilitarian purpose belies what it offers those who brave its path.

With the laguna on both sides of the spit, the views are incredible. The laguna. The local hills. The mountains in the distance. The ocean. The boats. The birds. They are all there.

Even Barco was impressed. Usually, when I let him off his leash, he runs like a lion in pursuit of a gazelle. But not this time. He stayed close -- exploring only infrequently. It may have been the new environment.

Until we encountered other dogs. Then, he shifted into play mode.

By the time we got home, I had added just over three miles on my step counter and on Barco's paws. For once, when we arrived at the front door, he did not pull away to run off. He was happy to see his water dish -- and then the swimming pool.

There are not very many places where a rambunctious dog can be off leash around here. Especially one who has shown an inordinate passion in hunting chickens.

There is the sports park near my house. The sand spit at the end of the street. And a couple of beaches, if I want to drive for about a half hour. Otherwise, Barco lives on a leash.

Will having the spit as an option "make all the difference" in my life?

Hardly. But it is nice to have it. And, in this life, "nice" is often good enough for me.

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