|Oaxaca blossoms in many ways.|
At 20, I thought I’d be a world traveler. I had already been accepted into the Peace Corps for Afghanistan. Adventure awaited ... until my own cold feet and a guy with warm hands changed the trajectory of my life.
However, on this blue-sky morning that turns all your cells into cheer leaders, I’m walking through a remarkable, old city with thick-stone-walled churches, wide walking streets, and art, old and new, everywhere. Sophisticated tourists mingle with village vendors in their colorful, traditional clothing. Coffee shops open slowly around 8:30 and chocolate shops and pastries are everywhere.
|Lisa Sonora and I|
Every morning, craft vendors recreate their tiendas to display their wares. They don’t just go to work, they live their work, and carry it with them for another day of sales in the shadow of the cathedral. I walk the streets, once again giving thanks for having a relatively easy and safe life. And, for living long enough to enjoy so much of the world’s feast.
|I love creative signs.|
I’m staying at Art House Oaxaca, owned by Lisa Sonora, a friend from the US and one of my creative muses. Her extremely well-located art retreat center has five private studios and a well-stocked-with-art-supplies outdoor studio. Yesterday as I was on my way back to Art House from wandering the city, I stopped in five art galleries within blocks of “home.” I love being able to see local contemporary art as well as all the traditional folk art in the shops and streets. I was so inspired, the evening was spent on a new art piece (see my new blog Mexican Art Villages.)
All of this abundance makes me wrap gratitude around myself as if it were the finest, hand-woven rebozo. Yes, it took me fifty years to get here … but I’m here. I’m healthy, energetic, financially sound and delighted to be exploring the world. The young girl who grew up in a small, southeastern Kansas town never, ever imagined the life that has, step-by-step, brought me here.
Sometimes, remembering that time so long ago when I had no way of imagining what lay before me, I wonder if I’m still as unaware of the future as I was then. Two years ago I thought I was living in my forever place. A year ago, I was just starting to think of Mexico as a part-time experience. Today, I’m living in Ajijic on the beautiful Lake Chapala and spending three weeks exploring Oaxaca, the city and the state.
Where will I be next year? Who knows? I might not even be earth-bound this time next year, but I do know that on this particular day, sitting in a small café in the amazing city of Oaxaca, I am happy, grateful and delighted to be alive.
PS ... to keep up with my travels, please see my blog: Mexico Stories.