Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I bring my raincoat because I know its coming. My hair is still warm from being on the roof hanging yesterday´s sheets to dry. Tall and fluffy mamoths, pregnant with rain, pilling up around the edges of this high mountain valley. I walk down the narrow street and take the time to notice things that have become common sights in my daily life. A street vendor manuevering a cart piled higher than his head with fruits and vegtables. Indigenous women in identical embroidered shawls, carrying countless bundles of babies, food and crafts on head and hip. The agua truck cruising the neighborhoods broadcasting its presence and a catchy tune through a single blown out speaker. The air smells of fresh pan, exhaust, carnitas, laundry soap. A man on a bike slows as he rides past, gives me a kissy face, wobbles but regains enough balance to turn again. I make my best Barrett- double chin, cross my eyes and stick out my tounge. We both laugh. I climb the innumerable steps up to the church high on the hill over looking San Christobal de las Casas. I breathe deeply and take in the whole valley. Cinderblock houses of every color- watertanks, rebar and clothes lines above, green feilds full of vegetables, maiz, countless church steeples strung with plastic prayer flags. I hear the first growl in the belly of the sky, its 1:23, right on time. The first drops fall heavy, tiny rotten plums satisfied to splat down to earth. Lightning cracks and the sky opens. I litterally run into the church, and am not alone as I stand inside the arched doorway. A family is with me, softly murmering in a native language. The plastic faces of the holy santos stare at us from their glass cases. The high ceilings echo with every crash of thunder. A neon virgin of Guadelupe sheds her light and love upon me as I sit in the empty church and write this. Its 2:02, the rain has stopped, people are poking their heads out of windows and doors. I step out onto the street once again, maybe I will get a popsicle, maybe a new book.