Wednesday, July 13, 2011

stairway to change

One of my favorite local trips is to the seldom-visited playa de oro -- northwest of Manzanillo.

You may remember it from my January visit (gold on the beach).  The hypnotically long beach that is unsafe for swimmers -- as well as boats.  As the Golden Gate discovered in 1862 when a fire broke out in its engine room and the ship (with a large shipment of gold -- thus the name of the beach) sank into oblivion.  And into local myth.

I thought Brian and Holden would like to see a beautiful beach that wears its legends stoically.  And to see a place I consider emblematic of many Mexican dreams.

If you did not know better, you could easily be confused by a sign on Highway 200 directing drivers to playa de oro.  Next to the sign is one of those blue and white international signs indicating a hotel can be found 7 kilometers down a now-deteriorated cobblestone road.

The sign does not lie.  There is a hotel.  Or what is left of one.  Holden is standing on the remains of a spiral staircase that no longer draws guests to their rooms with a view.

The hotel and a few derelict houses are what is left of a dream that began almost two decades ago.  Now, the hotel and the houses are merely crypts for nightmares and lost investments.  Unfortunately, the Pacific coast from Manzanillo to Puerto Vallarta is strewn with these development cemeteries.

But the beach is still as wild as the day the Golden Gate gave up its shiply life.  Brian and I stood and watched the waves wash in.  The very waves that claimed a lot of lives on that ship -- within swimming distance of shore.  Just like the vagaries of economic cycles.

At dinner, we kept up the philosophical musings.  As I mentioned earlier, Leticia -- Brian’s wife, Holden’s mother -- died just a year ago.  We sat and talked about what she had added to all of our lives.  Obviously, far more to theirs than to mine. 

But the brief time I knew her, she became a part of who I am.  The Bible translation (The Complete Jewish Bible) I still read was a recommendation from her.  As is my desire to speak Spanish -- a language she knew intimately through her mother.  (And a language that Holden is using handily on this trip.)

It was one of those reminders that being an acquaintance, a buddy, a friend is a big responsibility.  The people’s lives we touch are always changed.  And we hope that what we leave behind will be a change for the better.

In Leticia’s case, that was certainly true for me -- just as knowing Brian and Holden has been.


John Calypso said...

Good sentiment amigo, gracias.

Steve Cotton said...

This week has been a very nice journey -- and there is still more to enjoy.

Dftc2000 said...

Dreaming of Mexico is one of my favorite mental escapes, thanks for your help. Sometime I even get to visit (Jan, 2011, Ajijic), but have never been your way, maybe soon. I'm starting a new job in Tucson next week, so have been checking the US Airways employee (retired) website to find the quickest way to get SOB, besides a 60 mile drive to Nogales. Looks like US flights to ZLO are seasonal.
After your two mentions, I ordered The Complete Jewish Bible for Kindle. Can't wait to dig in. You are blessed with many good friends, me too.    debra    

NWexican said...

"The people 's lives we touch are always changed"
True and OUCH, but excellent reminder brother.

Steve Cotton said...

I truly am blessed with great friends.

Steve Cotton said...

I am always ready to step into that pulpit.