Musings, San Miguel de Allende

PEALING BELLS AND WANTING TO BREATHE

August 10, 2020

Oh, my god!! It’s the bells!

At first, I was oblivious to the sound until it went on for a bit. Then the significance stopped me in my tracks, brought me out to the terrace, and with tears in my eyes I raised my iPhone to record.

Maybe it seems like a small thing. Churches and their bells are synonymous with Mexico.

To us, they ring in weddings, festivals, religious holidays, and note the passage of time.

But I hadn’t heard them like this in San Miguel since the start of COVID-19.

Oh sure, they ring tentatively for a short time every day, but this time they rolled out over Centro for minutes, strong, confident and joyful.

I thought, is this a message? Are better days ahead? We all hope so.

I am asking for better days, not necessarily a return to normal. Although our normal in Mexico vastly differs from our normal in the United States. When we got off the plane in Mexico City, in April 2018, my shoulders immediately dropped. Tension left me and I felt home.

The world needs a reset and I believe this wake-up call has forced us to consider where we go from here. A path is showing; it is a matter of following it. Big changes, an unselfish attitude, and determining what is best for all. If we don’t do something, COVID will feel like a cakewalk in the years to come.

I am sick of wearing a mask though! It sucks. I think everyone who is doing so will agree.

I am claustrophobic and a mask makes me more so. I want to claw it off my face. I can’t see correctly with one on so feel discombobulated, tripping on cobblestones struggling to see on the side of my face.

I can’t breathe with my mask on, especially when hiking up the many steep streets in town. I have to stop and catch my breath in stages. I feel old after smoking cigarettes every day. Although I am not, and don’t.

Honestly, masks are a pain in the ass. But I see the necessity and honor others around me.

The only way to get on the other side of this virus is to move through it with a mask on. Lower the curve. Kick the damn thing down. Suffocate it.

When COVID first started I was blaise. I thought there was no way the world could grind to a halt. Who could comprehend that? What sci-fi book came alive? I want to return it to the library shelves.

I was not the first person to put a mask on. But I think I am wise enough to reevaluate situations and adjust my ways, and I soon got on board. I get through days knowing I am color-coordinated, we have bought several. Mask creativity abounds. It is the cottage industry of 2020.

Other people show their stupidity and say masks impinge on their rights. I can’t understand why they don’t see the correlation of how flattening the curve means a sooner return to jobs, income, restaurants, schools, concerts, sports. “Normality.” The lack of common sense is astounding. When this is over, let’s teach that in every classroom.

I feel that COVID opened Pandora’s Box and I hope we have enough time to close it. Or shit will really hit the fan and a mask might well be the least of our problems.

We can still repair this. I think so anyway.

I want to hear the exuberant peal of the bells again. Regularly. I don’t care what time it is. To me they are Mexico. It’s laughter, music, kind smiles. A reinforcement that we chose well for our new home.

And I will wear a mask and do my part and applaud others who do the same.

Then, once again,  we can celebrate, and breathe.

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1 Comment

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