Packing Up To Go Home
Another season in paradise-how many more will there be? I am packing up my suitcase to go back—Home? I’m not sure any more. ‘Cus there are these small things –things I can’t capture to pack them up! Like what happens along the way on our morning walk—Kathi, the dog, and me walking both hills and those merciless stairs. The small things—you know—like the cat that waits to take a swipe at our dog each morning, safe behind his fence, his face filled with concentrated hate, growling, hissing, spitting while the dog darts between us yipping, “don’t look at that cat—only me—only me”. And then the broad smile of excitement on the dog’s face, looking back fiercely proud, as she heads for another adventure. “Stick with me girls-I’ll get you thru.”
And then there is the little rat—very fat—that runs between garbage cans and hides in the green hedge along the Malecon. Dog perks up, stops stalking birds, and is about to give chase, but our friend notices and says, “oh-don’t let her get it!” Now how do you pack that up in a suitcase?
Meanwhile, Lucky the little grey dog watches his mistress swim. Oh yes-see her head just beyond where you catch a wave. See you soon Glina-when you come ashore.
Some things travel well, like the crescent moon last night, looking like a sterling spoon over the surging sea. I will miss The Mazatlan Writers Group, where we read our hearts out to each other and spew forth suggestions to improve. Well, I don’t need to pack them up, for I hear them whispering over my shoulder whenever I sit at the computer to write. “Take a class in punctuation”, they say. They keep coaching the commas out, they keep calling for the gold.
But the music along the walkway at night—the two men who sing –sing with feeling most every night to passers bys and no one special. And the vendor with his arm straight out, dripping with silver chains—forever hopeful. Has he sold even one? These things are of this place alone.
“Todo bien” calls the shoeshine guy, grinning ear to ear as he peddles his bike equipped with his home-made workbench and box, looking at all our sandals for a real shoe to shine. “It’s all good,” he says and pretends he shines toenails too. And this night the musician returns who played and sang at Canucks where we danced years ago. He remembers and smiles. Oh, we had some moments when we all rode along on the music, let it take us. Yes, I should leave some room in my suitcase for memories. Like the way we come out of the world class Recreo movies, teary eyed from laughing or crying past the line of our friends-“Did you like it? Was it good?”
It is the time for the Canadians to say goodbye with parties, already complaining about the minus degree temps greeting them when they get off the plane on the other side. Snowbirds are vowing to stay longer next year, even as we pack to go home—really—to go home? Where is home now that we have lingered too long in Mazatlan to really ever go back, now that we know we cant pack the small things up? Seasons spin around again, the year goes rolling by, and soon we will pack up to return, looking forward to parties of “Welcome Home.” The small things are waiting.