Semana Santa has come around again. Isla is so busy, but, again, it’s not rowdy. It’s a family friendly atmosphere ripe for entrepreneurs. Even yours truly joined in on the action and rented out parking spots in her yard! 😀
This was the beach this past Saturday (the 19th of March):
And this was the beach on Friday (the 25th of March):
This is an interesting time of the year where most of the Gringos have gone home and the beach belongs to Mexican nationals. But I live here and don’t feel like an interloper. I like to steal a moment a day to soak in the atmosphere on the beach, get a treat, and do some people watching. Because I know I can retreat to my quiet, almost secluded, home, I can be revitalised rather than drained by all the energy that comes here.
After visiting the botanical gardens on Friday, Sue and I went back to my place so I could pick up my wallet, then we headed to her place via the beach in search of a BBQed chicken to split. There were lots of stands along Calle Principal, but she prefers the shorter beach route and knew that there was a chicken stand along the ATV access route near her place. $100 got us a chicken that was divided up into two containers as well as a pile of tortillas each and a mountain of grilled onions (which Sue doesn’t like, so I got them all, yum!) and some grilled jalapeños. She offered to buy me a beer, so we went and sat at a little makeshift bar overlooking the beach. I’ve been on a light diet the last few days, so I tucked into my chicken so I wouldn’t be drinking on an empty stomach.
The moment was magic, with the sunlight hitting the water and bouncing off all the coloured umbrellas. This was a moment to savour. You never know the turns your life will make, when the bitter will turn sweet or the sweet bitter.
We talked about that and watershed moments of our lives. Ten years ago, I was living a perfectly ordinary life and starting to think of marriage and children with the man I was dating. But fate happened and we went our own ways. Now, he’s married with a child and I can’t imagine myself in that situation, but I don’t feel bereft or like I’ve lost anything. It’s just one of those moments of my life where I can clearly see the road diverging between the life I chose and the life that could have been. I own my choices, I accept that I can’t do everything, and as long as I keep moving forward and bettering myself, I refuse to mourn what could have been and instead focus on what I’ve accomplished.
Sue said that she couldn’t have imagined herself here eight years ago. Me neither. And yet where was I in March of 2008? On a gorgeous beach escaping the winter for the first time in my life… And then I spent three disappointing winters in British Columbia before running out of steam and wintering in Lethbridge. I couldn’t see the way forward then, thought I was at a pause, and yet, it was the beginning of the end of yet another chapter in my life. I bought Haven, had a major accident, and many meanderings later, found myself on yet another beach thinking the good times had finally come. A year later, I was wintering in an RV in Saskatchewan. It would have been easy to see that as a setback, to fall into depression and be convinced that there was nothing ahead of me. But I kept my focus and where did I end up spending the next two winters? Right here, on Isla de la Piedra, Mexico. Every setback that eventually led me here was worth it.
Who knows where I will be next winter. Right now, I’m thinking Greece, Portugal, or northern Africa, but I know better than to set my Path in stone. I have an idea of where I’m going and where I’d like to end up, but I’m open to what the vagaries of fate have in store for me. What’s important is that I’m excited about the journey.
It’s been a decade now since the last full year where I felt trapped, where I couldn’t see a way out of the mind numbing routine and ordinariness of my life. Where I was surrounded by people who liked their lives that way, so predictable that they could accurately guess where they would be ten, twenty, even fifty years out, and who made me feel like I was broken for wanting something different. I feel like I was born in the fall of my 29th year, that this is when I started to live the life that was meant for me. Even though I’m snowbirding now rather than RVing, I still very much feel like “Rae from Travels With Miranda,” like I’m still continuing on that same Path.
Leaving Ottawa in the RV in September of 2008 was another one of those major divergent points in my life and I rather feel like I’m on the cusp of another one. I know that if I go back to Europe for the first time in nearly twenty years, a floodgate of new opportunities will open that could derail my plan to move to Mérida. I recognise that. And much as I’m excited about the move to Mérida, I’m willing to jeopardise it for this new adventure I’m considering. Because I can’t do everything, but I must do something and that something cannot be another summer at Haven. That is all I know for certain right now.
Afoot and light-hearted, I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose.
Henceforth I ask not good-fortune—I myself am good fortune;
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Strong and content, I travel the open road.