There is something holy about sharing chapters with our adult children.
For the last three weeks my youngest son, his lovely love, my pup, and cat, and I have spent time at my tiny place in Mexico. We have had Earl Grey tea with honey in the mornings, quiet hammock times of reading and writing (although I often feel that I am not quiet for long enough), cooked, made stuff, explored waterfalls and jungle paths, eaten fried chicken and goat stew - and more. We have brainstormed ideas for the new casita I am building here and talked about potential places our lives may decide to adventure.
There is, of course, a deep family-iarity. A whimsical symmetry. Love, too.
I see my son’s strong adult body and remember changing his last diaper. I see my own softening body and wonder what will happen if I ever need mine changed.
I know life is moving and if all goes well, I am closer to the end of mine than he to his.
I treasure this time when we are still both strong adults, interested in the world, participating in it, and dreaming up future plans.
I also know that this seeming balance is fragile, that it can tip in a moment through a word misunderstood, a tired remark, a sharp decision.
I have seen myself retreat from my mom in the last years of her life because I had to make a tough choice - and I see now, that she did too. We each chose our kid and in doing so, lost each other.
I pray that this never happens to me and I am humble enough to know that it could.
So yes, precious. Delicious. Holy.
So very darn holy.
Most days, I am in awe of how simple things are over here. How many steps are removed to get to where we need to go. Simplicity being one of my Core Essences, I LOVE that.
Less steps, less talk, less worry, less problemas. We just get it done.
I think of the infamous topes, for instance. Speedbumps, often without warning, usually unpainted, occasionally homemade. pretty much always very efficient. There is a village nearby that spans both sides of the highway. Kids and dogs cross all the time and speeding vehicles would be lethal. So, instead of speed signs or traffic lights, there is a series of oh, possibly 30 topes punctuating the road. There is NO way to speed through the village. Just not possible. Cars, motorcycles and trucks crawl through that stretch of highway, period. Done. Simple, efficient.
Now here is an occasion where just as I recognize the same efficiency of getting-things-done, I find myself a little less enchanted, this morning.
A couple of days ago, I parked my car in a nearby town in order to go buy a few things at the market. I parked my car in front of a nice blue line which to me meant nothing more than hey, they painted the curb blue over here.
I returned an hour later to find a parking ticket on my windshield. Dang. Who knew that blue meant handicapped parking? Well, me now I suppose.
I inspected the piece of paper over and over again and could not find a fee amount nor a way to pay it. But I know better than to leave a ticket unpaid and so asked a few people about it. While strangely enough, no one had an answer, someone asked me if they had taken away my license plate. A quick look at the front of my car gave me relief and I was able to say that no, my license plate was still on.
But later that evening, I looked at the BACK of my car and noticed the glaring absence of BACK license plate. Gone. Two turns of a screwdriver and I suddenly HAD to pay the fee.
I remember that this is how it works here if you get caught taking a wrong turn. I know this because, in my early days of driving, it happened to me three times. Three times, yes. The first time, they took my license plate and I had to go back the next day (I was an hour away from home) and go bail it out. I was baffled at having to drive there without it - not to mention not being able to do it that very day - but nope, that's how it works, That's how you hurry your butt over to pay your fine promptly.
The other two times making a wrong turn (trust me, driving here is not as intuitive as one might think and I am still learning the ropes. Also, no YouTube videos to be found) let's just say that the police officer and I came to a mutually agreeable arrangement right there on the side of the road.
And it is very possible that had I seen the person who gave me the parking ticket, the two of us could also have come to some to a mutually agreeable arrangement on the spot. Easy, simple, and efficient. But I did not and so here I am with a piece of paper that explains very little and a missing license plate that says that I need to fix this right away.
This morning I will drive to the town where I got my ticket, about an hour away, and see what I can learn. My suspicion is that my license plate is tucked into a drawer in the state office, which is another hour away.
In which case, my day will be much less convenient and yet the process will for sure be fully efficient. Simple, too.
I am not a big fan of loose ends.
I like things “complete,” tidy. I like the energy tucked in and breathing steadily, resting.
I believe in the power of “Completing our Incompletes,” making room for our next creation, free from wayward crumbs and gritty bits.
And I live in a country where I am noticing that loose ends tend to sprout easily.
This morning it comes to my attention that in the last few weeks a small bundle of them has started to make an itchy nest.
My immigration papers.
Over the course of several months, I have gathered many documents, flown to the US to meet with the Mexican consulate. I then came back to Mexico where I gathered more documents and spent a whole day at the immigration office. Minutes before closing, I was told to return in three weeks to pick up my residency card.
My yearly car registration.
I waited in line, filled out papers on line, printed them, walked to the store to pay the fee, was told that the new plates would be delivered to my home eventually.
My land contract.
Countless exchanges with the lawyer, several switched appointment times, almost two hours around a big table with all parties exchanging pleasantries, many colorful pesos passed across the large table - then told to come back and pick up the contract when I got a call in a couple of days. That was almost two weeks ago.
So now, because that’s about the only thing I can do, I breathe through it all, keeping a tidy folder of Incompletes and learning a new layer of Trusting.
And I go to the beach.
SCARED OF THE SACRED