My thoughts about Mexico are assembled. And there is much to do.
When I think of what gives me joy in travel, it is always the connections. In most cases, I have this with my fellow travelers since I rarely travel alone. And I also love the emotional mini-connections I make on my journeys. The memories of those people who have shared themselves in fleeting moments or days of pleasure help me recall different villages, cities and countries of the world.
Many years ago on a beach in Mexico, a lady asked me to buy a rose. We began talking and discussed our children and the differences in our lives. I had the same sort of conversation with two women on a train in Italy. Through such connections I have friends in the world who will always welcome me.
And I can picture in my mind the stacks of clothes and purchases in a hotel in Hong Kong as my friend and I collapsed in giggles. I can feel the sun and breeze in my etched memory of drinking wine with a friend as the Mediterranean Sea lapped against the rocks below us.
Another pleasure of travel is stepping out of the normal routine with all of its responsibilities, both real and imagined. Much of who I am travels with me. But some is left behind. My introspective, serene self comes along. My intense, driven self stays behind. I can easily cherish a moment of beauty when there isn’t a to-do list, or an appointment book, or a telephone. I can be patient and tolerant when I live in tranquility. Conversation is easy with people who see me as I am without expectation.
My village in Mexico gives me all of the above. It is a ready-made community of connections. From the first day I arrive, I can be assured that someone knows my name. And it is too far removed from modern communication to dream of “staying in touch” with responsibility. What hasn’t been finished or delegated before I leave home loses importance.
Ah, so we get to it: connection without responsibility. That’s what this is about, isn’t it?
This is retreat. This is replenishment. This is a path to peace. It is a place to understand Buddhist concepts of detachment and living in the present. It is where my mind smoothes its worry lines into awareness and bliss.
My self in Mexico becomes my lesson to bring home with me. I need to memorize it well, to pattern it into my behavior and inculcate it into my daily life so that I am centered on a daily basis instead of needing an annual realignment. I want tranquility to fill a part of each day.
I have my homework.