Five years ago I stumbled upon a magic Mexican casita. Now, at first glance, I doubt anyone would have thought it magical. The crumbling square box was alternately surrounded by overgrown weeds and clods of dirt, oh, and don’t let me forget the dog poop, strutting roosters and decaying garbage. Its windows were hanging off their hinges and the few that weren’t, were sealed shut. The floor was raw cement, rough enough to feel like gravel underfoot. The bathroom had a drain in the middle of the floor and remnants of more roaches than I care to remember. But the ceiling was pretty, even if the fans hung off to one side and the location was great. And best of all, I felt the little house’s magic spirit and saw her amazing potential. At that moment, I knew she was exactly what I needed in my life.
So I made an offer, took a conscious step toward my dream.
But the owners said I was too late. A French couple beat me to it. I was crushed. I went back to my apartment and cried. And then, between bouts, I put my hands together, asking the universe to bring my casita back to me. If she is meant for me, I said, then please, oh please let her come back to me. I do so need her. She does so need me. Please, I begged. Please?
Three days later, I saw a dear friend in town who knew my plight. Hey Brynne, he said, the casita is still for sale. What? I exclaimed, someone must have listened, someone must have heard me! Within minutes I was making another offer, an offer they couldn’t refuse.
Five years have passed since that day and now the casita no longer has the space that my daughter and I need. Her vine covered garden wall, her lush tropical gardens and spirited bubbling fountain, her pottery and sculpture and shelves packed with sultry Latino novels, even her chandelier in the bathroom, the one that brought me so much joy—all of her delights will soon belong to someone else. Someone else I already know and love.
It all happened a few weeks ago when I was introduced to Shaheen, a friend of a friend I had been told I needed to meet for years. Over dinner Shaheen told me she was dreaming of living in our little Mexican town one day. Why not buy my casita, I said enthusiastically! When can I see it, she asked, mirroring my enthusiasm.
Later, sitting on the couch and staring out at the casita’s gardens, I told Shaheen the story of how the casita came to me. I looked up to see her covering her mouth. Are you alright? I asked. Can I get you some water? She shook her head, then spoke. Brynne, she said, we were the French couple who was going to buy this house five years ago. I didn’t understand until now why my husband kept dragging his feet, why he didn’t just give them the money, why he kept saying we needed to wait. I can’t believe this, but my husband heard you, Brynne. We didn’t buy the casita back then because you needed it more than we did. (I think this was when we both started to cry through our smiles) And now, its our turn, Brynne. Now we need her more than you do. Not only that, you have fixed her up to be what we dreamed for her, for us. Brynne, she said with tears making her eyes sparkle with joy, we helped you create your dream and you helped us, create ours.