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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May 22, 2005 — “You won’t believe where I’ve been and who I’ve seen, ” Kelly said to me around six this morning when he arrived home. I made some hibiscus tea, and we sat and talked.

We had been invited to go to a temescal, or sweat bath, out in the country near our town of Bernal in central Mexico. It was to be Saturday afternoon. I had an intuition not to go, for whatever reason, so I honored that. Upon reflection, Kelly decided he would go. Saturday he went down to La Chicarroma, the shop in the plaza where Juvenal does healings. Juvenal would be leading the temescal. He told Kelly that some people couldn’t make it in the afternoon, so it would be at night. Kelly was to meet Juvenal at the shop around eight, and he was not to eat anything from that moment on.

When Kelly got there around eight, Juvenal was deep into doing a healing on a woman in the shop. He works right in the middle of things, chatting with other people at times while at other times his concentration on the person is total. Kelly took a seat and waited with some other people on a bench. It turned out that all three were waiting their turns for healings. They all got them, and it was about ten when Kelly got a ride with someone else. (In the Mexican sense of time, a two-hour go-with-the-flow is quite normal.)

Logically enough, Kelly assumed they were going out into the country, especially since he was riding with the man who owns the land they were going to. But the car went about two blocks and stopped. “You want to go to the ceremony, don’t you?” the man asked. Logically enough, Kelly assumed he was speaking of the temescal and said yes.

They got out of the car and went into the home of some people we know slightly. There were about 50 people there, and several of them were people whom we know pretty well. There was a little surprise at seeing Kelly there, and people asked after me.

A ceremony was going on there: a wedding. It was a civil wedding and there were lots of papers for both sets of parents and the newlyweds to sign. After our encounters with Mexican bureaucracy, I can believe it. The bride was a daughter of the people we know slightly. Soon food appeared, but Kelly, the man he had come with, and Juvenal declined the food and visited a while.

When they finally got out to the land, about eight or ten people were waiting around. A fire got started, rocks got heated, people stripped to bathing suits, big t-shirts, or underwear, and the temescal got underway. Neither Kelly nor I have been to sweat lodges in the United States, but Kelly had prepared himself by reading this article on temescals in Mexico. He said he was glad to know what it said and that this one he attended was much like that. It got started around midnight and went on for at least four hours. Kelly generally enjoyed it and was glad to notice that he handled the intense heat and steam pretty well. He did have to stand up a couple of times to avoid getting charley horses.

When the ceremony ended in the wee hours, they had some fruit and other food. La Peña, the huge rock monolith, was beautiful in the setting nearly-full moon. It is known as a place of cosmic energies and UFOs, and Kelly and the others saw some lights around its sheer cliffs for which they could think of no human-caused explanation.

Kelly began wondering how he would get back to town. The man who had given him a ride was staying on the land. Juvenal would be quite a while longer. So Kelly got a ride in a small pickup with a man and two women. He wondered why both women got in the back of the pickup, but he joined them there. It turned out that the long private road went steeply uphill, and the light truck needed the weight of all three of them far in the back to get up the hill. Once that was done, the two women hopped into the front seat and Kelly wrapped himself in a blanket that was conveniently there, for the fifteen-minute ride back to Bernal. They dropped him off a few blocks from here and he walked home through the quiet streets.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I had not been surprised when Kelly didn’t turn up, but it was my first night alone in the house and I didn’t sleep well. Saturday nights are the noisiest, and this one was no exception. The usual Saturday-night dance had ended well after midnight, and there had been a fair amount of traffic past the house. My mind came up with fear fantasies from time to time, involving Kelly or me. I did a kind of meditation, and that helped a lot, as did the deepening quiet. I finally slept, only to be awakened three separate times by the big booms of some sort of fireworks, a normal Mexican sound. When Kelly came in at six, I woke immediately. After talking, we went back to bed for a few hours.

Kelly is very glad he went, and he’s been in a very peaceful state today. I’m glad I didn’t go; it was good for me to see how I felt alone at night here. I could get used to it.

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