Monday, May 06, 2013

say a little prayer

Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo.

I know that only because the schools are closed today.  But the bank and post office are open -- rather a stepchild holiday.

You would think that there would be all sorts of celebrations around town for this great event.  When the French invaded Mexico to establish the Second Mexican Empire, the Mexican army at Puebla severely bloodied the French in 1862.  The First Battle of Puebla.

The Second Battle of Puebla did not go so well for the Mexicans.  Nor did the entire war.  The French won.  The only battle the Mexicans won in that war -- there are some would say the only battle the Mexicans have won against invaders -- was the First Battle of Puebla.

So, 5 May should be a big day for celebrating national pride.  It is in the United States (where the Corona-sponsored event is much bigger than it is in Mexico).  It is quite an event in Puebla.  But Melaque is not Puebla.

Here, it is a day for the people of Guadalajara to cram into town for a three-day holiday.  And it gives local wags license to proclaim that Cinco de Mayo is one of the few joint American-Mexican celebrations "because we were not shooting at one another in that battle."

Because there were no colorful fiestas in which to celebrate, I decided to indulge in one of the most civilized of Mediterranean customs.  A siesta.

And it was a perfect day.  Sunny, but not hot.  I turned on the fan only for white noise.

But the day conspired to defeat sleep as thoroughly as Ignacio Zaragoza trounced Charles de Lorencez.   I have been trying to be continually aware of the blessings I have in life through the device of whisper prayers.  The blessings surround us.

Today it was the light filtering its way through the stairwell.  It is the view from my bed.  After staring at it for ten minutes, I got up to share it with you.  You can now say a whisper prayer.

The day was filled with possibilities.

Rather than indulge in a siesta, I decided to sit out by the laguna -- with only my camera and binoculars.  I often take the Kindle along, but this was a day just to enjoy the afternoon natural show.

Inca doves.  Grackles.  Great white herons.  A pair of fornicating golden-cheeked woodpeckers.  A snail kite.  Two commuting black-bellied whistling ducks.  A purple gallinule.  Cave swallows.  And the omnipresent kiskadees and caciques.

It would have been easy to miss my constant companion.  There was nothing to see but her eyes and nostrils.  She could have been a piece of wood.  But she wasn't.

She was the mother crocodile that hangs out in the pond every night -- and some afternoons.  And adds amusement and wonder to my days.

I did not miss the lack of battleground celebration today.  Especially, when I can simply look from my bed or walk out the back gate to experience some of the joy life continually serves up -- perfectly garnished.

And I whisper another prayer of thanks.

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