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.
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.
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.