Day to Day in the Land of Perpetual Spring
October brings on the melancholia of autumn. Even here.
I recently read an extensive political and economic history of Mexico. Early Spanish invaders called this area in which I live, the land of perpetual spring. I’ve lived here close to two years. I have to agree. The description is apt.
I hesitate to even talk about what it is like here when my Havre friends are digging out from under unprecedented snowfall.
Though seasonal changes in this area are subtle, hardly noticeable, my mind reacts as though I can look out my window to see cottonwood trees along the river, golden yellow, dropping leaves in the winds of autumn. I’m not stockpiling firewood nor changing bedding to winter down comforters. But I seem to be mentally winterizing my soul, preparing for the winter sleep without which there can be no spring awakening.
Little things contribute to this feeling. Four years ago I bought a new address book. Pages in my old book were shabby, full, messy with addresses crossed out, re-entered as friends changed address. Replete with more permanent address changes. Perhaps it was the latter which put me off the chore for so long a time. Too many friends have died, a risk one takes when one lives. I’m aware of this is the autumn of my life.
I finished the address chore in three days. That put me in a mood. Then my internet, my chief communications tool, went on walk-about. Some people in town went without service for three weeks while Telmex upgraded service.
Laughing, I told my kids I might have to resort to smoke signals or carrier pigeons. My daughter replied that nobody in Montana would pay attention to smoke signals after the Summer of Fire and Pigeons would need Papers to cross the border. As it happened, I lost service a mere two days. Yet I felt disconnected from the greater world. (Not a bad thing.)
Next sciatica punched me in the back. I’ve had sciatic pains off and on for some time. But this attack laid me low. It hurt to breathe. It’s hard not to panic. General free-floating worries and fears about conditions in the world, the state of my bank account and my health contributed to the pain, perhaps triggered it for all I know.
Stretches and rest, the cure. No, not cure, but eventual relief. I quit reading the news. That helps. Resting is difficult, there is so much to do. The gardening that I love to do must wait.
My new “garden helper” contributes to my work load. Cat Ballou has discovered she can jump-flip loop-the-loops in attack of prey only she can see. In the process, she “pruned” several pots of geraniums, which needed pruning, but not this very moment in time.
Then Bonnie called me to see if I’d like to go see a Holy Woman for a Blessing Ceremony. Why not? I wanted all the blessing I could get. We drove to Santa Rosalia, about ten miles from Etzatlan, for an experience both moving and beautiful, much like a merging of Catholic ceremony and Indigenous traditions.
Among other things, the Holy Woman, an ordinary everyday person in appearance but with an inner glow, told me to quit worrying. She said that even were I to lose everything, the Mexican people would fold me into their families and take care of me. She saw me not as an Anericana stranger but as one of her people.
Within hours, four other Mexican friends told me the same thing. No matter what happens, they will share their frijoles and tortillas with me. It’s hard to stay worried and afraid in the face of that kind of caring.
So I’m resting between stretches, watching Leo do the pruning my hands itch to do. My house is filled with the scent of roses from the flower bed behind my casa. Iguanas bask in the sun on my brick walls. Quail doves cavort in the flower beds and lawn ignoring my stalking kitten. Hummingbirds flit from bottle brush tree to never-ending flower blossoms.
The world is full of sadness and gladness. I’d like to say I’ve put all my fears and worries to rest. Easy to say, harder to do. So I mix my autumn melancholy with spring renewal, day by day, little by little.
HDN: October 5, 2017
HDN: October 5, 2017