It is Christmas time and in this crazy, whacked-out year of 2020, many are thinking about their place in the world, their beliefs, and their god.
My parents raised me Catholic, I went to Sunday school, first communion, and confirmation. And then I stopped.
I have never been religious, but I have definitely felt connected to something bigger than I am. I kind of have to, being such a small part of everything. I have reigned in my Bipolar disorder and no longer feel I am the anointed one. But more often than not now, I feel a spiritual connection to that which surrounds me.
I have felt it in the great outdoors, in the cathedrals of Europe, at the Taj Mahal and the Pyramids of Giza, and settling in at the beach with a good book on a summer’s day.
I’ve said before that I spent a long time searching for my right place rather than my right things. I spent four years in homelessness and many others in places where I existed rather than thrived.
But now I have settled in safety, with a who and a where.
I gazed out at another spectacular sunset last night. One of so many over the almost three years we have been in San Miguel. When we flew into Mexico in April 2018, my shoulders dropped, and I felt home and slowed my scattered mind and frantic pace.
I have become the me I always wanted to be.
In San Miguel’s cobbled streets, I find the aisles of my own great cathedral. The bougainvillea and jacaranda are the flowers on my altar of creativity. There is a congregation of beautiful people to be a part of day after day, while bells ring.
And in my husband, I have a solid foundation and a relationship we build on as we move through life.
This year has put a strain on everyone. Glenn and I should be in South East Asia right now. We had planned our six-month return to the area for years and had to cancel because of COVID. We had the next five years calendared out for travels, and we are definitely more than bummed, wondering when we can return to our partially vagabond life.
But oddly, the year has made me feel more grounded than not. It has forced me to be quiet and given me time to connect with writing groups and authors I never would have had access to. I’m working on memoirs and being offered encouragement and camaraderie that I never had before. And I am letting people see me, the whole me when I haven’t before. If I feel the need to find a silver lining, it is that.
We have plans for the upcoming year. Who knows how many we will accomplish.
If we need to stay in San Miguel the full year, Glenn and I will wake up each morning to light-filled days and end with stunning sunsets, a lovely glass of wine, and the knowledge that COVID has strengthened us and as long as we have each other, life is solid and good.
We are still here! We did not break!
I am so pleased you have found a place where you can be your true authentic self. I haven’t been to San Miguel, but I have been to Colombia and other countries where I have lived and loved. If you are looking for more memoir writing encouragement, there is a group on FB called We Love Memoirs. You probably know it, I’m sure. I belong to that group, and I write memoir. Wishing you more light and love and the heady scent of bougainvillea, the same flower I had surrounding my house in the Middle East. And jasmine. Love the sunshine! Wishing you well.
AW, thank you Amy!! Isn’t it amazing what good places that speak your language of your heart can help you manage all sorts of things. You sound like a traveler right up our alley!! I will go and check out the Facebook group you mentioned. It is a lovely hot December afternoon in San Miguel. I have my bare feet planted on the sun-baked tile of our terrace with a glass of chilled wine waiting for another spectacular sunset. I figured out this afternoon that I may have worn shoes in Mexico about 10 times this year. Now, does that sound perfect, or what? In the almost three years we have lived here I have only had three Bipolar episodes and they were over in such a much shorter amount of time. Definitely visit our neck of the woods. San Miguel is indeed a special part of the world.