|photo of forget-me-nots via www.ishalerner.com|
On the bus to Sayulita in the tropical jungle of Mexico, I close my eyes. I lift my chin to catch every bit of breeze as it licks the sea, soaks itself up with a sultry touch of the sun, then finds its way to my thirsty body. I can’t help but smile. I am almost home.
The breeze whips around the bus stirring stray hairs, loosening attached ones, even a moustache or two. And a newspaper. On a seat. Billows. Page after page, back and forth, but never flies away. I listen to it. Alternative news. Innocence, begging to be recognized. Magic, at ease with itself. The breeze pulls out one page and sends it to the floor. Just one. I watch as it blows toward the front of the bus, between two sets of legs and around a shopping bag until it catches on an old man’s foot.
He’s daydreaming. Maybe about his wife’s enchiladas that await his return. Or the look on his granddaughter’s face when he comes in the door. Or maybe what it would have been like if he too, tried living in a different country, a country very different than his own.
He feels the newspaper flutter on his foot and reaches down to pick it up. He smoothes it onto his lap with the careful consciousness so many of us forget. He finds his glasses in his shirt pocket, rests them on the end of his nose, and begins to read. I catch the edge of a smile. I see him nod his head. I notice him look out the window as if to follow a new thought. He nods again. Then, he takes off his glasses. He folds up the newspaper with gentle care, almost love, and tucks it, all of it, into his back pocket. And just like that, he stands up.
He has reached his stop.
He is home.
As I watch him go, the tuft of newspaper peeking out from his back pocket, I am flooded with the beauty of life. It’s the little things that make life magic, the little things that bring the greatest joy. And while the little things are everywhere, in every town and city in every country of the world, today it is my little Mexican town that gives me the time and space to see them, to feel them, to enjoy them with my wide open heart that time and time again, never fails to set me free.