Monday, January 25, 2010

fiesta of dying waters

And if, tomorrow, it ends
I won't have wasted today --

I will have lived like I am dying.

The lyrics are Don Black and Charles Hart's -- not mine -- from Aspects of Love.

But they could easily pass as an anthem for my Mexican neighbors.

On Sunday we celebrated the lingering death of Villa Obregon's most important resident -- our laguna.  It was a fundraiser to help save and preserve the body of water that gives this village its character -- far more than the showy and unfriendly sea.

"Celebrate" may not seem like the appropriate word for a vigil -- and vigil it is.  But this is Mexico where some of the most dreadful events -- historical and personal -- are greeted with dance, music, and hearty calls of salud!

That was Sunday's recipe, as well.  Tragedy and festivity in equal measures.

There is plenty of time to sit upon the ground and tell tales -- not of dead kings -- but of dying waters.  I need to do some research to be certain of facts.  The life of the laguna is festooned with enough myth to constitute another chapter of Beowulf.

Today we will talk of festivity.

Irma, my neighbor several houses down, runs what we NOBers might think is a hacienda.  It isn't.  But it is a very grand piece of property facing the laguna with a large home and five bungalow units -- known as Villa Xochipilli.

She also chairs the local group fighting to save the laguna.  So, her home was a natural site for a fiesta called Dia Mexicana.

The idea was to combine the best of Mexican local culture with the artistic work of two expatriate photographers known for their wildlife work.  The goal?  To raise consciousness about the plight of the laguna.

All of the elements were there.


Folk dancing.

And a local girl who has made it big as a singer and entertainer: Angelina Sol.

But that was not all.  We were also treated to a buffet of local specialties.  Mostly goat.  And all parts from the head to the stomach.  I wish I had taken some photographs, but my stomach took control over my head.

However, there were photographs.  Nature photographs.  Of the amazing wildlife in the laguna -- when it is healthy.  From the cameras of two expatriates: Melanie Hester and a long-time friend of this blog (and blogger): Howard Platt.

Any of those elements alone would have made a good party.  Together, they created one of the best days I have had in Melaque.

For many reasons.

The only question now is whether the laguna can celebrate along with us.


Anonymous said...

I don't understand, why is the laguna dying? Is it lack of rain? Polution? Development?

Chrissy y Keith said...

mmm, yummy. goat.

Steve Cotton said...

Francisco -- It is a long story, and I want to get it right. More later this week.

Chrissy -- And yummy it was. I need to find the name of the dish similar to haggis. I knew it at one point. Best goat I have had since I lived in Laredo.

Anonymous said...

When we lived in Pueblo, Colorado, the town, 70% Chicano and Hispanic and Latino, celebrated the 5th of May with a Mariachi Mass in the middle of Main St. downtown, along with a great Mexican breakfast.

If worship in my old Congregational Church in Walla Walla had had anything near the celebrational tone of that mass, I would probably still be a Congregationalist.

When I think of that experience in church over 50 years ago, all I remember is low back pain from the rectitudinal pews set in a large white chapel, devoid of color, joyous sound, and cheer.

Gods of the North, I fear, are dour creatures.

A. N. M.

Steve Cotton said...

ANM -- You should acompany me to one of my contemporary services if you would like to get that icy Swiss blood moving.

Leslie Harris said...

That is one of the things I love about Mexico...everyday is cause for celebration! :D Good to see that you are enjoying yourself!

Did you get to try "Birria"?

sparks_mex said...

>>> Irma, my neighbor several houses down

If you are staying at Bill's I'll shoot ya. So where is your place?

Angelina Sol has a nice butt butt don't like her beer

Down in a few weeks

Steve Cotton said...

el jubilado -- I am at Casa Nanaimo -- one of Christine's places. See you soon.

Calypso said...

Looking forward to the report on the dying laguna amigo.

But eating goat - well you know the vegetarian in me says yuk!

Steve Cotton said...

Leslie -- I missed the birria. It was there, but my plate was full. I wish I had truied it now.

Calypso -- The best thing one can do with a goat is eat it.

Unknown said...

If you had posted that link to Villa Xochipilli sooner, you might have had more of us from the north visiting. Looks like a lovely place.

I look forward to your temporary return to Salem in May. Ron and I missed seeing you in December.