Today again, I stayed away, only connecting with Jorge by phone in case he needed me to make a decision or bring them something.
I stayed away and I stayed in trust and I tried to get comfortable with my new perspective. Also, a tiny bit of indignation made its way up to the surface: how dare they pout because I am holding them accountable for their part of our arrangement?
Really, it was starting to settle inside of me and I was more and more sure that this is going to be part of a new tool kit I had been putting off acquiring. As is often the case when true growth is on its way, I could start to feel some gratitude bubbling up.
Around 5 I drove over expecting to have some solo quiet time.
But Anselmo and Catarino were still there, Anselmo slinging plaster to the walls in a way that told me this wasn't his first time doing so. Again, I was struck by the holiness of watching a seasoned craftsman at work. One splash at a time, one pass of the long flattening tool at a time, the blocks were getting covered, their seams disappearing and the house somehow softening. It was as though he was applying a magical balm that was gently and rhythmically morphing what was a construction project into something new. Something familiar, friendly.
I watched, quietly. And I think they could tell I was touched and once again taken in by their work. Me too, softening. Which in turn softened the air around us and next thing you know, there we were smiling and talking, and well, what the heck?
Then I realized that they were out of water and that while Alberto had told me he would refill the tenaco, something had gone awry with the hoses and nope, they had no water.
Once more, I made my way across the field to ask for water and was told that well, not today. Maybe tomorrow. In the end, I left with an invitation to use the water from his cistern, in the morning.
I informed the guys and they said they would. Or they would drive up the river and fill up their big containers.
As I left, two things came to my mind:
1) Why the heck did we not start with the building of the cistern? We would have had consistent access to water for all these weeks, getting it filled all the way for 1,200 pesos. I called Jorge and mentioned it to him and he said that yes, it would have been a good idea. Hmm... go figure. At least we have a plan for next time.
2) Gratitude for their ease of working on a project where there is no electricity and sometimes no water. Really, they could have walked away (or at the very least, complained) at not having the tools to do their job. Instead, they showed up with a generator one day and then simply went to the river for water another day. That's not something I take for granted.
Once again, this is what I am getting to understand more and more: I am bumping against two distinct Forms of the same Essence. An Essence I am not quite sure what to name, actually. Maybe ... Easygoingness?
This Essence is what so many of us love about Mexico: no stress, it will all work out, no pasa nada, amiga. Coming from the north side of the border, we love drinking in this Easygoingness at every corner, benefiting from some of its Forms. That's part of what makes people fall in love with Mexico and come back over and over again. Especially if we are here as tourists or visitors, we get to drink in that Essence as the local people will talk with us and have all the time in the world to do so, nowhere else to be. It's a lovely Form.
Then, when we live here in a more engaged way, when we try to work, create, build, or otherwise dive in more deeply, we simply bump into the other Forms of the same Essence. And then we don't like it so much. The lateness, the vagueness, the not-showing-up-ness, the whats-the-big-dealness. That's not so lovely anymore. In fact, it can be maddening.
Who am I to complain about the flip side of this Essence I fell in love with? Who am I to say I want the dogs running free but not the dog poop on the sidewalk?
As always over here, I am learning. About this country, its people, and mostly about me.
I am grateful.
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