Feeling good is often about whether we like the person we are being, isn't it?
It's often about the way, once in bed at the end of the day, we look back feel about what we did and said - and how.
For me, I like who I am being when I manage to get out of my house early and take my pup and I for a long walk on the beach or in the countryside.
Early being before it gets hot, which is getting earlier by the day.
Early also being before I clean my house which I tell you what, is a huge stretch for me.
I like to clean my whole kitchen before I make a meal. I have to brush my teeth before I write a blog post. I yearn to vacuum before heading out.
In the States, I had that luxury. Here, with the heat, not so much. If we miss the 8 am deadline, forget it.
So I really like those days when I manage to jump out of bed and walk out of the door early. I feel good about me and my pup's health, and heck, that's a great way to start the day. Grounding.
Today was one of these beautiful mornings and wow, do I cherish them. Like most things in Mexico, they have a rhythm, a sacredness.
First, we pick up our friend Athena-the-smiling-dog a block away. If Lila is on her leash, Athena will help me by holding on to it. If she is not, they will run together. The three of us make our way through town and I taste this pleasure I learned early on a as kid: a community getting ready for the day. There is sweeping, there is watering. In Paris, there was no yelling Hola! across the street to each other, no dogs joyfully bouncing around looking through the trash before it goes away. But there is a similar energy, an excitement for the hours to come. I love love this.
Once at the beach - and we may have been joined by another dog or two by then - we will all delight in whatever calls out to us. For me, watching the birds ride the crest of the waves, a special shell or the smell of the ocean - once we pass the water treatment plant, because yes, this is a land of contrasts. For the dogs, wading in the shallow part of water, sniffing new friends, racing each other. The sun is gentle, people are brand new. Some are meditating, stretching, sleepily crawling out of tents or just walking.
On the way home, we will sometimes stop at the fruteria and buy some plantains, mangoes, or a few carrots.
Often, I will order a fresh juice to sip or blend with a banana once I get home. Today, I bought a big glass of fresh pineapple juice with ginger. A whole pineapple went into it and man was it sweet and sunny. I even liked that it was pink because someone had ordered a beet juice before me.
Then, as always, I wave hello to the gentleman selling bolillos out of a big beautiful basket. Bolillos are oval-shaped freshly baked little loaves of bread. You can dunk them in your coffee or fill them with chicken or ham or tuna and make tortas. Truth is, until very recently, because I am not a huge fan of sandwiches, I had not had a torta. But wow... are they good! Warm from the bread being gently toasted, with a few jalepenos tucked in there, they are so so tasty. I can't believe it has taken me so long to try one.
But actually I do. Because here is a not-so-secret secret: I am a bread snob.
Growing up in France, I decided early on that only French bread qualified as bread. When my kids' dad and I opened a bakery in the early 90s, I was sure there was something in the US water (or was it the air?) that prevented good bread from happening this side of the Atlantic. I told him so and being who he is, he heard it as a challenge and it didn't take him long to re-create the crusty loaves of my childhood. Turns out I wasn't the only one craving the magical texture and flavor and for the next seven years we sold thousands and thousands of loaves. There are many stories there and I will tell them eventually. For now, let's go back to the bolillo man.
Several times a week he invites me to buy one of his little rolls. Several times a week I smilingly decline. Today was no exception. Other than for some reason, he asked me why. Why am I not buying his bread?
"I don't really eat bread" was the answer that came out of my mouth, already half-way across the street, smiling back at him. A lie, really. True, I should not eat bread because gluten and I don't get along well. But give me a good croissant, and there is no stopping me.
I knew I was lying and that always makes me feel worse than a bit of gluten ever could. Before I could fully digest the little lie (is there such a thing?) I heard him say back to me: "ay... eso no es manera de vivir!" - hey, that is no way to live!
No way to live?
Lila and I turned around and I walked back towards the big basket of bread. I handed him my juice to hold while I fished the nine pesos out of my purse. He said: I knew you would come back. He was right.
Back home with a half glass of pink pineapple juice and a lovely looking little roll for lunch, I think that tonight I may go to bed happy about my morning.
My heart gets daily workouts, living here.