Many of my days here are like a retreat.
I wake in the morning to the roosters crowing. As I lie in the dark cave of my mosquito netting, I go through my mental family album. I lovingly wrap each one of you in my thoughts, prayers and thanksgiving for the day. I don’t know what is happening in your lives right now, but I can imagine each of you moving through your day and I smile at my picture of you.
My early time at the beach is a walking meditation. I move along the edge of the sea with the ebb and flow of sand and water shining as far ahead of me as I can see. One wave crashes over the last, washing my steps from the sand before my return. It is an object lesson in detachment. There are no raging emotions here. On silvery mornings the rising sun colors the clouds, the ocean and the sky and I am calm and refreshed.
Back at my casa I spend time on my porch before my work begins. Lazily I do a puzzle and sip my morning coffee. The hibiscus bushes offer colorful privacy but leave room for greeting passersby who know I am there.
Rakes rasping across gravel is a standard rhythm of a village morning. Sometimes it is to the beat of the music billowing from the house across from me. Sometimes it is a cadence of its own. The wide teeth create a symmetry of graceful lines in the sandy street before the footprints of dogs and children are added to the canvas.
The whooshing of the broom builds a satisfying mound of dust and sand proving that sweeping is a vital part of my day. Since nothing else is pressing, I am easy with the necessity of maintaining a livable space.
Washing also has a rhythm: filling the large buckets, squishing clothes in sudsy water and splashing clear water from the pila (water cistern) to rinse them. The cool water drips on my dusty feet as I hang the clothes along the line, squeezing the excess water as I go back and forth
I spend many afternoons at the beach. Swinging my hammock with one foot I listen to the voices around me rise and fall with the waves. I read or gaze out at the sand and water. The breeze is cool in the shade of the palapa.
Evenings can be what I make of them. I can be social and join others while having a taco and a beer. Or I can eat at my house and read in the hammock with the fan blowing back and forth as a background. I can walk the main street nodding and smiling to other villagers who are doing the same.
Such is my life in solitude. I wouldn’t do well in a lotus position releasing thoughts from my mind like bubbles bursting in the air. But I am thriving on my simple days of meditation.