Mexico is a place where the quiet daily routine is practically as old as the mountains behind our house. I watch my neighbor across the rock fence behind us do her laundry by hand and hang it out to dry. The shepherds lead their goats, sheep and cattle every morning to the small lake near our house for a drink before herding them past our front gate to the mountain pastures above. In the evening they return the same way and we get to watch the cooperation between shepherd and dogs as they work the animals, driving them home. Their work is purposeful, yet never hurried. The path is well known by both the animals and the herders so it becomes part of the routine of daily life down here. Watching the comings and goings.
The pigs are a different matter. There aren’t so many, just a handful. Usually a litter born in the spring to a mama sow, who guides her charges up and down the arroyo and parts beyond near our house. They continue to free range until whoever owns them decides they’re ready for market. But until then, we get the pleasure of watching them make their way along, exploring the nooks and crannies for grubs and bugs and whatever pleases them.
I watched a lone horse off and on today make its way around the little lake, grazing grass and weeds. Usually they’re tied somewhere to graze but this one dragged its lead rope around as it meandered from one side of the lake to the other. Part of the time it stood belly deep in the water enjoying the cool, no doubt, and nipping the tender grasses that grow in abundance along the edges of the water. The cattle egrets made their silent way into our valley and swooped out of sight at the far side of the lake. From time to time I was aware of a burro complaining somewhere nearby. A neighbor’s rooster crowed, just because.
Most of the afternoon I worked on one of the architectural rendering commissions I’m doing right now, listening to “Missouri Sky” by Pat Matheny. Our studio on the second floor is a quiet haven, free of distractions like internet, housework, and television. It looks out on the lake and mountains and all the glorious, peaceful outdoors that tantalizes us, but I guess it’s enough just knowing it’s there that keeps me focused. By 4 o’clock Dave and I were both ready for “tea,” he having worked in our cactus garden and side yard all day, cutting grasses, clearing out weeds, and starting a compost pile. We took our repast up to the roof terrace and settled under the overhanging limbs of the pepper tree at the north end. From there we looked out toward the valley and beyond across which stretch distant fields, the town of La Luz in the mid-distance, and far to the north yet another mountain range, all part of the Sierra Madres that march southward from the border. The sun was bright but the wind made it cool. Soon, the clouds gathered over the mountains just to our south and we were rewarded with a small shower through the sun and a rainbow that stretched from the lake below us to the lower slope of the mountain behind.
Wishing you all peace from Central Mexico.