Friday, April 13, 2018

the times they are a changin'

It is Bob Dylan time in our little corner of Mexico. Winter is over.

The Mexican tourists have retreated to their highland redoubts following their sybaritic semana santa stay with us. Most of the northern tourists have been skeining north in their distinctive V forms. And, for a few weeks, as always, our temperatures will drop to blissful levels for a couple of weeks while women diners at beach restaurants bedeck themselves in tablecloths to fight back the deleterious effects of 79 degree temperatures.

But the most obvious sign that things have changed is the cast turnover in Mexpatriate.

For the past two years, the house with no name has hosted more friends and family than have visited me in the previous eight years. (I was beginning to wonder if my political exile also included shunning.)

This year, it was my Air Force friend Robin Olson, my mother, my brother, my sister-in-law, and my niece. And, of course, it was also the season my son took up residence.

On Wednesday, Darrel and Christy boarded an Alaska flight for their long flight ordeal to return to their other house in Bend. They are now there.

I was at dinner last night at Papa Gallo's and I started thinking about my life here in Mexico. When I moved here, I was not certain where I would permanently settle. But I knew I would be calling Mexico home. Probably for the rest of my life. After all, it had beat out London, Paris, and Pacific City as retirement spots.

It did not take me long to start using that word for Mexico -- home. Probably, after a year or so. That is why I am always a bit startled when I hear long-term visitors say they are returning home after their extended stays.

And, for them, I suppose that is true. Most of their families and friends are still in Topeka, Saskatoon, or Saint-Tite. They own homes there. Their banks are there. North is their wife. Mexico is merely their mistress.

I still have some northern ties. But the house with no name has my full fidelity. It is my home. Or, as much home as I allow myself to have. The concept of home has always been a bit elusive to me. For my entire life.

Because my non-Mexican family and friends visit me here, or I travel with them in other parts of the world, I do not have the same ties some people have to places other than where I live. And, after almost a decade of living here, I have finally started breaking through some of the mask that my Mexican neighbors wear out of a sense of self-preservation.

It has taken me that long to understand that Octavio Paz was correct when he said most Mexicans, let alone foreigners, have difficulty in truly knowing their neighbors.

So, thanks to all of you who visited me, who helped make my life a richer tapestry, and thanks to you dear readers who make this little writing project of mine worth doing.

Personally, I think that Bob Dylan had it wrong. The times may be changing, but, here in Mexico, it will just cycle around into another circle. And, even with a changing cast, life will be as pleasant as it was the day before. 

Maybe just a little bit more.

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