The murmuration of the waves, the breeze’s gentle rush, the small stain of the setting sun, spread by nature’s brush. The yellow of her pallet, bold orange and red and pink complicate the skyline as we watch the sun’s orb sink like a flame-red new-cast penny set upon the ledge of that calmer ocean on the horizon’s edge.
See it slip so quickly into the ocean’s slot, making us forget for now all that we are not. All of life’s frustrations, all misbegotten schemes, are flushed into the water to sink into its seams. This is why we gather to watch the sunset’s beauty. every single evening—as though it were a duty.
I’m presently spending three months in a small beach town in Mexico where I’ve come every summer for the past six years or more. Tonight I went to the readers’ theater production of “Sylvia.” At the play, when they sounded the 5 minute bell during the intermission, I went to the ladies room. Right after I entered, the announcer said over the microphone, “As soon as the restrooms empty out, we will begin.” Then, as I was sitting there thinking I had plenty of time, I heard, “As soon as Judy DB joins us, we can begin!” I ran water on my hands, drying them on my pants as I ran out of the bathroom and to my seat. As I sat down, I heard someone say, loudly, “At least she washed her hands!” No such thing as privacy in a small town. I guess I’m a local now.
By the way, the photo above isn’t really of the ladies room at the theater. I just couldn’t resist using my favorite bathroom shot of La Mosca one more time. To hear the story behind La Mosca, go HERE.
After many years of going to La Manz in doses of one week to two months, I’m committing to three months this year. I think that makes me a local, or perhaps an apprentice local. I love this little town on the west coast of Mexico, a few hours below Puerto Vallarta.
Mosquito netting above my head
and tucked securely around my bed.
What person forced to resort to it
hasn’t made a sport of it
at bedtime, just as they recline,
shut off the lights, and hear the whine
of a mosquito, far then near
directly buzzing in their ear!
Mosquito netting so fine and thin,
both keeps them out and keeps them in.
I knew if I tried hard enough that I could find my picture of the mosquito–netted bed in my treehouse! Finally found it in my Facebook photos.
In La Manzanilla, every year around this time, a trench is dug between the laguna that houses the crocodile and bird sanctuary and the ocean. This allows the somewhat stagnant swamp water to run freely into the ocean, clearing out the still water and freshening the laguna. For those of us on the beach, however, it creates a few days of foul odor and tides we have no desire to swim or fish in. It is a small price to pay for the freshening of the mangrove swamp, but still, a yearly process no one looks forward to. Yesterday was the first day I witnessed the water running free this year. I took a walk down the beach, and this is what I saw:
(Please click on first picture and subsequent arrows to see enlargements of photos and commentary.)
As I set out in the morning, the beach looked much as it had the day before,
but when I neared the lagoon, it was obvious that it was now emptying into the bay.
The water ran swift and free,
but both yellow tape and a rank odor discouraged entry
and encouraged using the footbridge.
People crossed the swinging bridge over la laguna gingerly
and carefully negotiated the somewhat jerryrigged ramp from the bridge to the road.
The grackles watched from above, undisturbed by this merely human setback.
A few fishermen braved the laguna-scummed tide,
and two large logs continued their journey up and down the coastline.
Two beach walkers gave scale to the huge logs
This found and slightly embellished sculpture graced the beach.
A closeup shows the simplicity of the design which was actually large in scale.
And in spite of the yellow scum,
here shown in its own grander scale,
We still love La Manzanilla, don’t we? We know that all will soon be back to normal, the laguna once more sealed off, the crocodiles sealed off from the beaches and coastline, and the beaches and water once more inviting to human habitation.