As Deb and I fall down this Mexican rabbit hole, it often feels as though we’ve been carried along by events rather than controlling those events. I suppose you can argue a lucky person puts themselves in a position to be lucky but still, it’s amazing how things have worked out when they needed to work out. For instance, the park. We never saw this coming. It just appeared and there you go.
San Miguel is high desert country - almost 6,400 feet (about 2,000 meters). So it can get cold in the winter. It was 38 (3C) in the morning a week ago, but the middle of the day – the middle of the day we’re at 70+ (21C). For a gringo who knows what December is like in the NW and Midwest, this here hovers somewhere close to blissed out, living on cruise control, don’t bother me cause I’m busy doing nothin, pour me another mezcal if you would please, kind of weather.
So, the park doesn’t look like what we know to be a park. I don’t know – it’s maybe 100 yards long and 50 yards wide. What it is is big enough to make a small park, and it’s right across a cobblestone street from the house. It’s filled with high desert stuff - cactus, succulents, and relatives. I know too little of what grows here at this point, but my current understanding is that there’s a lot of flowering aloe – a succulent that looks like a cactus, maguey - a cousin of agave, jacaranda trees that blaze purple in the spring, and a lot more. This high desert can be tough country. Ragged. Extreme. Bright. Harsh. Needlepoints. Razor-sharp. Narrow shadows. Very few soft curves. Add water and it’s a beautiful expansive country, where you have to be careful and move slow or you will bleed.
The park has been a big deal for me. I wander around it a lot and for some reason, I’m often drawn close to it rather than seeing it always from a wider view. Little things suddenly seem to demand more attention of me - edges and patterns, texture, light and dark, a splash of color, the absence of color. I’ve never been drawn to this sort of thing before. I always seem to be drawn to the big scene, the big story, the big picture. But here, for some reason, I’m pulled close. It’s intimate, quiet, personal. I love the whole process of moving slowly, as in inches and feet rather than quickly as in yards and miles. I have nothing against distance. Distance is good. But for the moment, it’s amazing to me how some little thing can catch my attention from a distance and pull me in close. Real close. Someone said, “less is more.” That’s what I’m feeling here. More or less.
For me, the park is becoming a way of disappearing into the details. Taking it slow, taking my time, and taking it easy. That’s what I’m thinking. I’m just sayin. The park speaks in the details.