Mood piece

agin

horse

AUTUMN ARRIVED last week, and yesterday — driving down the mountainside to the state capital on a shopping binge — we spotted the best sign of fall hereabouts: Pink fields.

Our pink fields ever remind me of the springtime fields of bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush that erupt in Central Texas, something I miss, that along with good barbecue sauce and pho tai.

But summer here is defined mostly by rain, which arrives in June usually and departs in October usually. The rain has been hesitant of late, the last week or so, as if trying to decide if continuing is worth the effort.

Let us pray not. Now and then, it rains on the Days of the Dead, the first days of November, really mucking up our graveyard traditions and disappointing the tourists who bring money to our tills.

But despite the expanding afternoon sunshine, it’s still overcast in the mornings. Stepping out to the upstairs terraza just after dawn, both the white horse next door and the distant mountains are gray and glum. But that does not last long, a temporary mood piece.

About the plaza

view2

JUST UNDER two blocks away, our neighborhood plaza is where we walk most every morning weekdays. Weekends are for other things.

Off one corner of the plaza, there’s the view above, showing the elevated railway track, the same that passes near our Hacienda down thataway to the left. All my life I lived in flatlands, wishing I lived in mountains, and now I do, and it’s wonderful.

We’re not the only folks to walk the plaza, however. There’s this old dude below. I very much admire his spunk because that’s an exercise walk he’s doing too, but with a walker. He inches along.

He needs knee replacements, on both sides, but he’ll never get them. We always say hi as we speed by, relatively speaking, lapping him many times over. Sometimes he rests on a steel bench. Other times he pauses and chats with others. He keeps his mustache well trimmed.

cripple

cripple2

The coffee view

cafe

I WAKE UP early, go pour coffee from the machine that’s already got it waiting. I break off a touch of Bimbo toast and go upstairs to read the news and some gossip. This season it’ll still be dark outside.

dawg

As time passes, the day outside the window over the computer screen starts to lighten, turning from dead of night to dawn as the sun brightens the mountaintops. I finish the coffee and the touch of toast.

horseSometimes I stand and walk out onto the terraza to get a feel for things. I’ll check the thermometer that’s nailed to the exterior wooden frame of the screen door. This time of year, it’ll be the high 50s. Sweet!

I take a look around, always liking what I see, the neighborhood.

Next door, of course, I see the horse in his makeshift barn. The street out back is where a house sits with its permanent dog up top. I doubt he’s ever felt tierra firma. He’s the stereotypical Mexican roof dog.

hotel

The horse and the dog are off to the right and behind. To the left is the sex motel, which is the building with the windows. The closer section is the corner of our upstairs terraza, here where I am standing.

Appears all of one piece, but it’s not.

The day is dawning foggy, as many mornings do these days. It will blow off in a couple of hours, and clear, sunny skies will emerge.

Until it rains this afternoon.

It’s a great place to live.

No sweat

downtown

LIFE INCLUDES worries large and small. With luck, just the small. And with astounding good fortune, even if it lasts only a brief spell, no worries whatsoever. I am in that sweet spot.

So here I sit on a beautiful, large plaza in the middle of Mexico, high in the mountains in cool mid-May, nary a care in the world. An espresso rests on the table while I watch the beautiful women pass, at times glancing at my Kindle, where I am reading, now and then, a good book.

I had small worries earlier this year, constructing the pastry workshop, renovations to the downtown Casita, piddling other things, the stuff of life. But at the moment … nothing.

Peace.

Across the cobblestone street, where the plaza rests, are towering trees and three grand fountains where youngsters sit on ledges to flirt and snap photos of themselves, the ubiquitous selfies.

Small speakers sit low and mostly unseen all around the plaza, releasing music. If you’ve ever wondered how life would seem with a musical backdrop — like in the movies — come sit here on a stone bench or walk the broad sidewalk, and you’ll understand.

A parade passes, or what passes for a parade hereabouts. Usually, it’s a small, out-of-tune band, lots of women and girls in indigenous dress carrying clay pots to indicate their support role in life, and they sashay this way and that down the street. There are men on horseback. Today’s parade includes an old, wooden, two-wheeled cart pulled by a pair of oxen. The cart holds a statue of the Virgin.

They curve right at the next corner and continue toward the smaller plaza, their sounds diminishing. All parades here are pretty much alike — frequent, colorful and out of tune.

I look down at my Kindle and miss a beautiful woman walking by.