A few short weeks after I arrived in Mexico last year, Chris said some funny words to me on the phone, one day. I was telling him about how I was trying to buy a car and also get rid of the mouse in my cabin.
To this he responded: you need to buy land.
It sounded silly, unrelated, and certainly not helpful to my current situation. So he said it a couple more times.
Sometime last spring, Lila, a friend, and I went on a discovery walk.
Leaving the village by foot (I had a car by then and the mouse had mostly vacated), we took a left turn on a dirt road I had never noticed, walked under a bridge - in reality, walked under the highway - and just like that found ourselves in the countryside.
Fields of cows, rivers, men on horses, jungle overlooking all of it, and a lot of quiet.
I loved it.
A 15-minute walk from the happy bustle of the village, 25 minutes from the majesty of the beach, it seemed almost impossible that this place I was getting to love more and more each day would also have "beautiful countryside" on its menu.
We walked a lot that day, and over the following months, I returned to the area over and over again, getting to know the dirt roads a little more each time, Lila learning to cross the rivers without even slowing down. In the summer, the rainy season, I got water over the rim of my boots a couple of times and I think Lila actually swam across.
Summer passed, then fall came and we continued to visit, getting our dose of country vibes. We stood on the side of the path as herds of cows walked past, I waved at people on horses, I took a peek at the farm on the far end of the "neighborhood." I loved seeing its pretty"Tranquilandia" sign at the beginning of the road, quietly directing visitors to a special organic farm little ways up. It reminded me of "Portlandia" and sweetly melded two worlds together for me.
A couple of months ago, while walking over there once more, I called out to Lila who had gone a little too far ahead.
I was surprised to hear a man's voice reply: "Si!!" I turned to see a shirtless man busy burning brush (and possibly garbage, I'm sure we'll talk about this some more as this adventure develops) and smiling at me. "Your name is Lila??" I asked him incredulously "No," he answered. "My name is Lilo." He quickly followed with a big laugh and said "I'm just kidding with you, my name is Pepe and what are you doing here, walking around?"
I had never really talked with anyone in the area other than saying "Hola" or "Buenas tardes," so this felt nice and cozy.
My immediate answer to his simple question however was weird.
"I'm looking for some land to buy," was what came out of my mouth.
Pepe didn't blink which was nice since I was busy doing all kinds of inside blinking myself. I was glad Lila had come back by my side to add a little normalcy to the moment.
What the heck??
"Oh I have some land I can sell you if you want," Pepe said.
That day, we returned home with Pepe's phone number and a seed had been planted. Or maybe rather, a seed that had been planted months ago was poking its little leaves out of the country dirt.