photography, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Midnight serenade in Colonia San Antonio

The sound penetrated a deep sleep and scattered dreams. A car radio? The cantina on the corner? A passing boom box?

No, no, and no.

It was the real deal. At midnight a mariachi band was poised in a half-circle in front of our neighbor’s door serenading her in song here in Colonia San Antonio, San Miguel de Allende.

A birthday? An anniversary? A way to say I love you? I’m sorry? I adore you?

I couldn’t resist. I didn’t want to intrude on such a beautiful moment but the romantic notion of it all compelled me. For the moment we were living in a 1940’s romance western, a South of the Border epic. Of course, I went out on the patio — discretely — to watch, to listen for a while but, bless them, it was cold.

The band played about six songs, a little over half an hour, then drifted off into the night leaving only the sound of barking dogs, the occasional bad muffler, and the birds who reclaimed the night air.

I drifted back to my own sleep, a smile on my face and so much gratitude in my heart for where I live and the people who live around me.

This is why I live here. For the magic.


4 thoughts on “Midnight serenade in Colonia San Antonio

  1. Robin Heller says:

    Thank you for sharing, Robert, I feel the same way! So much magic in our amazing city! What a treat it must have been for the young woman on the receiving end!


  2. Kathy Brunsdon says:

    I love your portrayl of San Miguel. After a couple of vacations to your beautiful city (from the west coast of Canada) I appreciate the people who relocate to your area and recognize the “magic”. I find I have little in common with people who move to Mexico because “I can live a King”. (I wish I had a nickle for everytime I’ve heard that…and simply using that expression will tell you I’m OLD and would have gathered up alot of nickles) Not only have I never yearned to live like a King, but San Miguel is so much more than an economical destination. In my real world I live in a quiet suburb of a large city. When I vacation in San Miguel I am always shocked at my tolerance for noise. We stay in Centro. There is always a noisy car or truck outside near by. I’ve been woken by fireworks and music. There seems to be non stop construction and renovations…but it’s San Miguel de Allende and the sound of a midnight serenade is part of the magic for those who appreciate this special city.


    • You touch on some great topics, Kathy. Without a doubt, economic migrants from the U.S. and Canada are on the rise. They range from fixed-income retirees to McMansion hunters. I did not sense such disparity when we first moved here. But then that might have just been naivete on my part. Political migrants, too, but that is another whole story.

      You hit the key note, I think, in addressing WHY people move to another country. When we lived in Belize, the feeling was people were either running away from something or running to something. Either way, they will be ultimately disappointed. I always counseled people that your first journey should be within — find peace with yourself, learn to be happy with who you are … then you can live anywhere in the world.

      And as you say about San Miguel, come for the magic and stay for the rest in all its messy, glorious, noisy, confusing, colorful, celebratory self.

      Thanks so much for writing. Come back again!


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