Oaxaca Return: Voy a Regresar and Packing

Tomorrow, Saturday, May 11, is my travel day back to Oaxaca where I’ll stay put for a while. Yet, I tell myself it’s good to be where you are now. No looking back, no regrets, no living out into the future but to appreciate each gift of the moment. Today, I will connect with friends. Sip a G&T.

Packing challenges the assumptions of being here now. It makes me concentrate on what I will need and how much to take. It’s like cleaning up and getting ready. There’s no avoiding the planning that is required. I have one day to do it.

Perhaps, I should retitle this post, “Taming the Wilderness.” There is metaphor in this.

Truck with tattoo at the funeral

Yesterday, I went to a funeral at the farm where I lived for ten years with the wasband. The matriarch founder, age 93, passed early this week and my going was a tribute to her life — and mine, then and now. As I walked along the gravel road to the on-site graveyard, I passed the familiar and the unknown. It was strangely similar yet dramatically different. The cottage in which I lived is now inhabited by the next wife (there have been a series of them) and the gardens I once tended were overgrown, unrecognizable.

I passed people I knew and didn’t. They were known and unknown. We have aged. Some of us more gracefully. The wasband’s hair was wilder and he had built some girth. I wish I could say we exchanged pleasantries. It reminded me of where I am now and my gratitude for being here at home in Durham, North Carolina, and Oaxaca, Mexico.

The dirt to cover the cardboard casket was red clay Carolina. Each shovel-full was heavy and thoughtful. Life is where it takes us and there is reverence in each single act we do.

Poppies at the side of the farm road

Being there reminded me, too, about what I do to try to tame the wilderness. I attempted this, too, in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, by planting fruit trees — orange, lemon, avocado, guava. Ants consumed them. I gave up and planted cactus. These are sturdy and well-designed for the climate, to survive and repel the critters. There is a reason that the high desert is filled with native plants.

Here in North Carolina I have no living plants. My flowers are woven into the textiles around the apartment. When I leave early in the morning, I walk out and lock the door. It is easy. I am coming to learn my limitations.

Next Episode: On my return home. The other home.

A walk with friends on the Eno River, Hillsborough, NC

18 responses to “Oaxaca Return: Voy a Regresar and Packing

  1. Safe travels, Norma. I am happy to have shared a walk, dinner, drinks and laughs with you yesterday. Happy trails!

  2. Beautiful expression, dear Norma

  3. Hello Norma…!
    So many years of reading your posts…and reminding me of all the years we have been traveling in Mexico – shopping for folk art and crafts for our store, The Phoenix. So many friends…in fact, we just returned from Mexico in April…Mexico is a huge part of our lives…
    So – travel safe – enjoy your homecoming …. hugs to you & your friends!

  4. Safe travels! We’ll see you in July.
    A beautiful & thoughtful post.

  5. Precious words. Precious Being.

  6. You are well loved in Teotitlan. By humans and doggies. Stay hydrated on your travel day and enjoy your homecoming.

  7. Lovely, both the photos and your thoughts…

  8. Safe travels Norma, I will be thinking of you. Your post is poignant and thoughtful. The passage of time and all of its markers make life interesting for sure. I have learned to let grief and change wash over me like waves. I try to fully embrace all of it and accept that all the conflicting feelings are little signs that I’m still upright and alive. The particularly large waves I think of as old friends long departed just saying hello. Weird? I don’t know.
    I’m looking forward to seeing you in July. Meanwhile I will think of you walking the campo with your pooches and reconnecting with the beautiful Oaxaca countryside.

  9. Beautiful post! Seeing your photo of the Eno River reminds me of one of my favorite weavers who was also from Durham, Silvia Heyden. The Eno River inspired many of her tapestries which are stunning.

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