I am writing this Christmas greeting from my winter home at the beach in Chacala, Nayarít, Mexico, once again. It is quite warm here, there is no white Christmas, no sleigh bells jingling or red-nosed reindeers, no halls decked with boughs of holly. There are no chestnuts roasting by open fires, one frosty snowman (below), no partridges in pear trees, and certainly no silent nights (but the dogs and roosters are for a different story).
Without these familiar triggers into the sentiments and activities of Christmas, it seems very far away and foreign. I appreciate all the e-mails wishing me a Merry Christmas! Thank You. I will remain merry, trust me on this. Wherever you find yourself this season, and whoever you find yourself with, I wish you a peaceful and beautiful time-- inside and out!
I am very grateful this year for the intentions and accidents that created my home here in this little village, with sweet friends, warm weather, a gorgeous empty beach, juicy sun, and fresh seafood. I am grateful for the people visiting from the north country for transformational intensive work and/or to simply hang out together. It is all good.
I want to share a story -- not really a Christmas story, but for me it represents what maybe we call the Spirit of Christmas, and why I love living in Mexico:
I am living in a studio upstairs above my house in Chacala, because the downstairs needs to be gutted and remodeled. The roof leaked during the summer rains (when I wasn't here) and again during an "unseasonable" deluge earlier this month (when I was here).
I actually had to sleep at a neighbor's then, because it was too wet here. Last week we started construction on a rooftop terrace patio, with a red tile ramada roof, and all the trimmings-- including absolute roof waterproofing, not easy here.
I had finished a late dinner and was talking with a neighbor last night, when another totally unexpected deluge hit. I don't use the word "deluge" lightly here -- think Noah's ark. I knew I had to go protect my home, but it was raining so hard I didn't want to go out in it to walk home. Finally I knew I had to, and was drenched through and through when I got to the house-- after wading through a brown river that had been the road only minutes before.
There were already some drips coming through the brick ceiling, and I dried off a bit, then had to go back outside to collect tarps from downstairs. As I came out I heard a truck turning the corner, and wondered who could be out in this dark and stormy night. I was even more surprised when the truck stopped in front of my house.
It was after midnight by now, and out of the truck spilled the crew of five local guys and their boss that has been working on my rooftop dream! The boss said he woke up to the pounding rain, and knew they had to come and take care of the situation. They live in another town, about 20 minutes away.
They had built the low walls around perimeter of the roof yesterday, but hadn't created the drainage yet-- the roof was becoming a lake. They waded through with flashlights and a big drill and made holes in their new concrete to drain the water, they bailed with buckets, and I bailed and swept with a broom.
As we finished bailing the last of the water, the clouds parted and revealed the most beautiful starry night! We shook hands and they headed home and back to bed. I stood there under the stars for a few moments, feeling their love and their willingness to do what needed to be done. I accepted it all with gratitude.
Something in my heart got so big, standing there in the night. I can still feel it today. Something about a love unspoken, no bargains, no obligations. I am certain they wouldn't call it love. It is simply Life here.
They all came back at 7:00 am this morning, and somebody said "Mucha lluvia anoche!" ~ Lots of rain last night.
∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞§∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞I am wishing each and everyone one of you who reads this newsletter (and all the ones who are too busy), a loving, heart-centered, and generous Christmas and holiday time.
Happy New Year