Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Perfect Timing (Tiempo Perfecto)

There's a certain looseness here. When you walk on the beach, you see it: leash-less dogs, perhaps a few horses wandering around. Someone might drive his truck or ATV on the sand, after having bumped down dusty dirt roads.

Playa Las Palmas
Sometimes we even see a guy in an ultralight airplane land on the sand.

Don't get the wrong impression, though. All of this is not happening at once! The beaches tend to be uncrowded--although weekends bring out lots of families, and good waves bring out lots of surfers.

Boats launch by rolling into the water from the beach. When they return, it's spectacular to watch them blast full speed ahead to the land, bumping right onto the sand.

Fishermen landing at Punta Lobos.
This laid-back quality permeates most of life here. "Mañana" has two meanings: "tomorrow" and "some unspecified time in the future." That's pretty much how things roll. One day at a restaurant you might get really fast service. Another day, a "quickie lunch" might take two hours.

As Laura Fraser writes: "Mexico is a good place to practice patience. Whenever someone is an hour or a day late, I try to think of it as an opportunity to step out of my constant sense of urgency, to relax."

For example--and this is just one of many--we'd been waiting for more than a month for a delivery that was supposed to take 10 days. I was even to the point of thinking we might never see the stuff. I consciously decided to not worry about it.

Then this morning my cell phone rang. The woman on the other end told me she had four boxes for us, but she didn't know how to get to our place (even though I'd sent a map and directions).

We realized we could have gotten the call on a day our patio was torn apart. Or the other day when workers were here installing our cabinets. Or when we were in Cabo or on the beach or out of cell reach.

We arranged to meet at the gas station down the street. She followed us down the dirt road to our casita. Her worker nimbly unloaded several unwieldy items, hauling them to our rooftop patio. As he did so, I realized I'd been imagining that to get furniture up there would be a big project. Nope.

Sunset from our rooftop patio.

The driver was all smiles. We hung out by her truck, chatting. She told me she loves her job. I said, es una vida dulce and she said, absolutamente! When she found out I'm una escritora, a writer, she said she wants to write her autobiografía. I asked her if she's lived an interesting life (¿tiene una vida interesante?) and, grinning, she again enthused, absolutamente! I encouraged her to go for it.

"There is," writes Laura Fraser, "a mindfulness to day-to-day encounters in Mexico, an attentive cordiality, that is contagious. You see it in the politeness people pay to one another ... People take the time to greet one another, with no sense of hurry. There is endless Mexican patience for things that can always be a little late, go a little wrong, but will work themselves out tomorrow."

I guess I'm saying if I'd not been in the laid-back Baja state of mind, I might not have had such a great human connection. I was happy to talk to her. I was happy see our stuff, even if it was late. Actually, it wasn't late. It was right on time.

La Playa Punta Lobos

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