I start noticing the planes overhead when it’s nearing the time to go.
Planes don’t fly low over this small Mexican city. San Miguel de Allende doesn’t have its own airport, so the few planes flying overhead are high in the sky, headed off to somewhere else. I rarely notice them at all – until it’s time to leave.
Now I’m watching them leave a trail in the sky and wondering about the people inside. Are they happy to be going wherever they’re going? Are they sad to be leaving wherever they were?
After almost three months here, in our little apartment in Mexico, everything we do in the last week takes on a new significance.
Will these flowers last until we leave? How many potatoes should I cook? Should we buy one more small jar of honey?
We wonder where we should go out to eat, and we keep using the expression “one last time,” as if we will never return. We plan to return. We even have tickets. But life is uncertain and leaving, even for a few months, feels momentous.
At 6 o’clock this morning, we heard fireworks. “Pop! Pop! Pop!”
My husband, Peter, mumbled something in his sleep.
“Fireworks,” I told him.
He went back to sleep. He doesn’t mind. Peter is used to them now. Fireworks in the morning are not unusual. There are reasons for them, we are told, but they are complicated. They have to do with births and deaths and things we will never fully understand. This morning, I was wide awake at 6 o’clock, listening to the fireworks and wondering how they ever could have bothered me in the past.
I’m having a hard time remembering our home in the U.S.
I try to remember what pots and pans I use, and I can’t quite picture them. It seems odd that my other life has grown so fuzzy in such a short time. I have forgotten how many houseplants we left to be watered. (Very few, is the answer.) I try to remember what vase I put my flowers in and what coffee cup I use. It seems important that I remember these things. Otherwise, it feels as if I will be flying into a void.
I wonder if winter is finally over. (Not really, is what I am hearing from my family.) I wonder if the crocuses will be coming up when we get back. Unlike the kitchen and my coffee cup, I can picture the crocuses with vivid clarity, scattered across the lawns, growing oblivious to property lines, spreading brilliant purple blooms everywhere for just a couple of short weeks, then disappearing again for a full year. I look forward to the crocuses.
And I miss my parents and spending time with my family. I will enjoy my walk through the old neighborhood. It will be fun to see spring finally arrive and meet all my old dog friends who will be eager to smell whatever was hidden beneath all that snow.
When you read this, I’ll be back. And I’m sure I’ll feel happier about it than I feel today. Today, I think I’ll miss the fireworks.
Psychological studies report that, if I want to keep enjoying something, I need a little time away. I need to do something different for a while to keep the appreciation fresh. I believe this is true. But right now, I don’t feel like going away.
Right now, I feel like taking in the brilliant colors and the warm sun and even the fireworks for at least one more day.
Till next time,