Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

In the absence of art and pageantry by agile minds and clever hands, Nature fills the void


Looking down Calle Correro from the intersection with Barranca toward the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel on a very quiet Sunday morning.

We don’t do fireworks in San Miguel de Allende any more.

The hot-air balloons drifting slowly over the city at dawn are gone.

Parades and processions are put on hold.

Concerts under the trees have been muted.


Chalk-art festivals, Mariachi bands, street singers, horse riders,

First Friday art and ego struts, sundown wine divines,

street hawkers, weddings, random events of unexpected joy,

All have vanished. Peacockish pageantry has molted away.


Were it not for San Miguel’s beating heart and crystalline soul —

Thumping and humming and tineing and echoing

Off the walls of empty streets,

A visitor — also forbidden — might think this city

Has entered a deep, lifeless hibernation

— which rhymes with sequestration —

But you knew that.


In the absence of all this excitement and beauty

Generated by agile minds and clever hands,

Nature has stepped in to remind us

Of raw beauty, grace, power, and excitement.

Most every evening during the past week and more,

Roiling slate and ebony clouds have rolled up and

Over the hills to wrap the city as in a down comforter.


The clouds don’t arrive unannounced.

A chilly breeze  flaps the roof and walls of my canvas gazebo

As a steady rumble, like invading Saxon hordes,

Grows ever louder and closer. Closer. Closer.


Remnants of a house front, passed by a hundred times unnoticed but looking so beautiful on a Sunday morning after a fierce rain. On El Chorro, a few doors up from Capilla Santa Cruz del Chorro.

Like that time James Earl Jones came late

For our interview in a suite at The Plaza

And as I look out serenely over Central Park there comes

A distant deep, booming, lilting rumble,  that rises up

To thick, thunderous laughter and subsides just as quickly.

Like an approaching storm, His Voice comes close. Closer. Closer.

It seems forever, but Jones reaches the door

And blinds and embraces us with his lightning smile.


Once a door of great importance, I imagine.

It is what I think of on an evening such as this.

Here comes James Earl Jones. Better close the windows.

From our hilltop perch, the lightning explodes like gold lace

all over the sky,  like fireworks from evenings of old

And the thunderclaps that follow, seem worthy applause.

The rain fills the air with pure, ripe smells

You can almost hear the thirsty trees and plants

Lapping hungrily at the moisture.

Sunday’s evening performance came with a

Stunning Mother’s Day encore — a double rainbow

Like none I’ve seen here before.

Like one drawn by a child with crayons, for that special card,

Full of sharp edges, thick ribbons, and crisp separations of colors.

The evening rain storms seem early this year.

Perhaps Nature feels our losses and so fulfills our emptiness.

Perhaps this is just as it always is.

Only without the distraction of humble human creativity.

True art shines through.




3 thoughts on “In the absence of art and pageantry by agile minds and clever hands, Nature fills the void

  1. Pingback: In the absence of art and pageantry by agile minds and clever hands, Nature fills the void « Bound for Belize

  2. Pingback: The Log for May 12, 2020: Good reads, good movies and something I can’t explain | Musings, Magic, San Miguel and More

  3. Pingback: Little escapes: Seventeen San Miguel experiences you can enjoy while sitting on your couch | Musings, Magic, San Miguel and More

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