A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!

Rosana

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Dec 25, 2006 –  Christmas in Mexico is a time of many special events and activities. It’s a time when families get together, specially on the Noche Buena, the 24th of December.

A Mexican friend of mine told me last week what she and her husband would be doing: they would spend much of the day at her parents’ home, where they would see other members of her side of the family. Then they would spend the evening and far into the night at the home of his parents, with lots of his siblings and their families there. "Christmas Day is for sleeping!" she added.

One of the things I love about living in Mexico is the pervasive spirituality. I have a habit of re-reading the four Gospels in December most years. This time, I am making slow progress because I recently acquired a New Testament in English and Spanish, both languages conveniently side by side. It’s interesting to me how fresh the words and ideas are when I am plodding through them for the first time in Spanish.

This freshness reminds me that this is pretty radical reading. Serve the poor? Love my neighbor as myself? A tall order. I have been reflecting on my material blessings, as one of the wealthy people of this planet — though not at all wealthy by US standards. When surrounded by the poverty in my own neighborhood here, I have been thinking about what I might do, to make another step toward loving my neighbors more.

I’ve come to the conclusion that my next step is to get to know more of the local people. I’m often kind of shy about this, but I’ve already started by walking more in the area. I’m particularly interested in getting to know the women who are closer to my age. As I went past one gray-haired lady I know by sight, I asked her a question. (About when the garbage truck comes by.) She answered graciously and I discovered I can follow her Spanish okay.

I have often noticed that while we of the North have more material blessings, the Mexicans have many gifts of the spirit that I can learn from — a bouyancy and optimism, an ability to enjoy life, and a level of trust that does not come naturally to me. Maybe if I live here long enough, and reach out enough to my neighbors, some of this will rub off on me.

As a young woman, I spent a year at a Quaker center, Pendle Hill near Philadelphia. I was on a work scholarship and my duties included helping out in the home of Howard and Anna Brinton. Howard was a renowned writer on the spiritual life, and I remember taking much comfort from an idea of his. Inner peace, he said, comes when we are taking the next step, however small and whatever form it may take. What next step? One that is obvious to us if we make the space to reflect quietly on it. Last week, asking about the garbage truck; what next? I intend to pay closer attention to those quiet promptings of the spirit.

2 Comments from the old blog:

  • Your statement…
    "I have often noticed that while we of the North have more material blessings, the Mexicans have many gifts of the spirit that I can learn from — a bouyancy and optimism, an ability to enjoy life, and a level of trust that does not come naturally to me." is SO TRUE!
    I’ve also commented on their generosity – both of material things and of spirit.
    It’s a worthy goal to strive towards.
    -Nancy

  • I said: Yes, the generosity here is inspiring.
    There is also a lot of generosity in the foreign community, with a variety of organizations for fund raising, teaching English, etc.

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