I like simple.
Making things simple is one of my Super Powers (I can think of a man or two who would not agree but hey, that's okay) and a lot of what I do in my work: people come to me with a lumpy bag full of stories, background, thoughts, and confusion and for some reason, I am often able to see the running thread, sort through bits and pieces and tidy it up for easier digestion.
Which is one of the reasons I feel so comfortable in Mexico. A lot of things are simpler. Not always easier, but yes, simpler. Less fluff, less "in-between-ness," something more A to B.
A couple of weeks ago, I injured my right rib in a collision with a big hard paddleboard. The sun was shining, the water was warm, my kid was with me and I had better things to do than to stop life and whine about it. So I kept going, got back up, and two weeks later realized that maybe it was hurting more than I had admitted. It was time to go to the doctor.
A couple of WhatsApp messages later (this is how we make doctor's appointments over here) Lila and I walked into the small office for a consultation with the man my sister and I fondly refer to as "The Good Doctor."
I was there about 40 minutes, Lila's eyes fixed on me while the doctor navigated his way around her fluffy tail, my rib was thoroughly examined, many questions were asked and their answers recorded. It was decided that while I did not have a broken rib, I did have a lot of inflammation from the hit and that there was enough of a difference in the way both of my lungs sounded that I should walk over to the village hospital and ask for an X-ray. I was given a prescription for the inflammation and told to call him when I got out.
I paid my consultation fee (about $18), took Lila home, and a friend and I walked over to the hospital.
This is the local hospital and it is a government hospital. Read: fairly bare-bones, especially in comparison with some private hospitals in a neighboring city. But this was a simple procedure and worth not having to leave town.
We walked in, asked the lady at the front desk if I could please have an X-ray of my chest. She told us that I could indeed, asked for $13, and pointed to the X-ray area.
A while later I was ushered into the X-ray room, took my shirt off, held my breath, got dressed, and waited outside a bit longer.
The technician came out holding a large X-ray film in his hand, gave it to me and we were on our way to get a bite to eat across the street.
With the big black photo on the table next to the hot sauce, I called the doctor who said he would be right over to read the X-ray.
A few minutes later there he was, examining my X-ray in the mid-day sun on the sidewalk, telling me he saw nothing abnormal, and that he would check in with a specialist friend of his, just to be sure.
So yeah. That kind of stuff. Over and over again. In pharmacies, at the vet, at the grocery store, and in the street.
Kindness, Simplicity. And something else I can't quite put my finger on but really, really love.
For four months, while living in my little shack, I had two towels. This allowed me to still shower while one was being washed. This made the towel part of my life very simple: use it, hang it in the sun to dry, use it again. Once a week, take it to be washed and repeat with Towel #2.
Two weeks ago, I moved into a beautiful house complete with a closet full of towels. Kind of the way things are in my home in the US. This morning, I find myself starting my day with the familiar task of foldding towels. Several towels. A stack of them, actually.
Towels which I plucked from the dryer (I don't have a clotheslines, here) and all towels which I used personally in the last few days.
As I carried the stack into its closet, all pretty and plump, I allowed myself to really feel the contrast. Not to judge it, just to feel it.
Also, to pay attention to its exchange rate.
How much do towels give to my life in terms of service and comfort?
How much time do they ask from me - or rather, how much time am I feeling good about giving them?
I am grateful for the opportunity to experience these questions and to find my own, authentic answers to them.
Not the answers of "the more the better" nor "minimalism in the correct way," but my own answers, my own sweet spot.
The spot where I experience no lack or inconvenience, nor do I find myself trading my life minutes for "object tending," objects that will never love me back.
Certainly not the way going to watch the sunset will love me back, or taking a walk, or painting, or just sitting quietly and feeling deeply grateful for my life.
It's a dance and I am loving taking these dance lessons.
SCARED OF THE SACRED