The ancient church


Every weekday morning my child bride and I do six laps around this neighborhood plaza. Six laps, plus the time it takes to walk to and from the Hacienda, add up to 20 minutes of walking to keep ourselves tight, fit and beautiful.

It rained overnight and, while walking past this church today, I considered going in and praying to the God in residence to put an end to it because this is way past the traditional rainy season. Enough already, I wanted to say to that God.

But the church door was locked, and I likely would not have done it anyway, lacking faith that it would have worked. But you never know.

Just up to the left, out of the photo, are the railroad tracks. Nearly every morning, I look up there and see the bunch of drunks who sit on the tracks with their bottles. That probably explains the quantity of little crosses planted along those tracks.

You get drunk. You fall down. You get run over by a train. One of the many drawbacks to boozing, something I know a good bit about. But not anymore.

This church was built in the 1500s by Spanish overseers and native labor, and there it still sits. It came before me, and it will be there long after me.

Our Hacienda was built nearby a decade ago by a Gringo overseer (me) and native labor. And God knows how long it will be there, but it too will outlast me.

12 thoughts on “The ancient church

  1. Many things will outlast us my friend, and I am ok with that. There will be no headstones to mark the fact I will have even been here at all. Someone will have a picture I’m sure, but it will be in a drawer somewhere, and, I’m ok with that also. It matters only what I’ve contributed to whilst here. One thing here on the Coastal Plains of this corner of British Columbia that bothers me is, that anything that is old, as in buildings, it seems is torn down to be replaced by some new architectural edifice and all heritage is lost. This is not so in the Eastern Provinces. It is a good thing Mexico preserves its past. I like that.


  2. At one time I saw a time lapse photo session of the big plaza (downtown). Going back from the first photos to present. I wish I could find it again. It was very interesting. Time flies but we are here for such a short window. Be interesting how things will be here in 100 years.


    1. Tancho: I think the downtown plaza and the buildings surrounding it will look mostly the same in 100 years. It’s what brings in the tourist peso, and the city government really looks after that.


    1. Carole: Well, ain’t you the funny one? But it’s true. I rarely set foot in that church, but I sit short spells now and then in the Basilica downtown. Maybe I’m soaking up a little religious fervor there, but if so, I can’t tell.


  3. I have a picture of that church from when I visited in 2007. I even went so far as to create a version that would make a great T-Shirt, along with the nearly unpronounceable name of your town printed below. (At least unpronounceable to the average Gringo.) If I could post an image in a comment, I’d post it.

    At the time I took the photo, the used-car lot decor was red, white, and green. I prefer that to the rather obnoxious yellow and green they seem to have now. I never saw the inside either as it was locked when we went by.

    As for things predating and outliving us, I live in a house that will turn 100 in a few years (2017). If I’m still here, I’m going to throw a 100th birthday party for the house. Given that I’ve breathed new life into her, what with new mechanicals, considerable remodeling, and roof work, I suspect she’ll outlive me by a considerable margin too.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where our recent blog post testifies to our love of old things.


    1. Kim: The photo is goosed up a bit. The facade is an earth tone. It was painted a couple of years ago, and it looks good.

      I predict you will be in your house when the time arrives for the big 100th shebang. I would put money on it.


  4. I like to visit old churches when there is not a sea of people. Peace and quiet for me enhances the meditative process. It is sad that church doors are now locked, but for good reason. Even so, God hears our prayers. One just has to make time and have faith. Especially when you feel that draw, as you might have felt that day.


  5. But the church door was locked, and I likely would not have done it anyway, lacking faith that it would have worked. But you never know.

    That “But you never know” may be the faith of a mustard seed in Jesus’ teachings. That small opening can make a world of difference.

    One huge difference between the places where we chose to live is that you have buildings hundreds of years old that out-date you. There is nothing in my village older than I am. And, as I continue my degeneration, the village erodes along with me. There is probably an essay in there somewhere. But this is a comments section. And mine is at an ed.


    1. Steve: Dream on, old fellow. Don’t confuse lighthearted writing with cracks in my consciousness through which Christianity can creep.

      I heartily support it when it’s embraced in good spirit, but it’s not for me. Were anything to creep through that crack, it would be a discount coupon for a saffron robe.


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