Moppit the Philosopher Dog is pretty insistent that I take her for a walk, no more than 10 minutes after she finishes her 5 p.m. dinner. She is a creature of habit. Moppit starts a huff-snorting sound around my ankles if I’m not reaching for the leash, the kind of sound a woman makes when the husband comes home late smelling of booze and perfume and mumbles “biznish shmeeting.”
lately, it has been in the high 80s around 5 p.m. here in San Miguel de Allende, so I try to reason with her.
The best days to walk around Centro in San Miguel de Allende have got to be Thursday through Saturday.
Thursdays seem to be when the girls celebrating their quinceañeras come to the Parroquia to pose in their lavish 15th birthday gowns. A charming sight to see. Tiaras on their head, sneakers beneath a billowed and sparkling gown. A furrowed brow as the photographer aligns the perfect shot erupts into a brilliant smile on command.
The young woman pictured here stands in the middle of Calle Aldama for a classic image with Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel in the background.
It seems cruel to talk about Spring and plants and flowers at the end of January, but here we are.
In a week or so, we celebrate the 40th day after the birth of Christ, the day on which the Mother Mary took her child to the temple.
In tandem with this religious celebration, many gardeners, growers, plant suppliers, and others gather in a San Miguel park for a week and turn it into a veritable Garden of Eden. Hundreds of people flock to the park to buy flowers, cacti, bushes, fruit trees, herbs, ornamentals, vines, ground covers even giant earthen pats to contain them all. If it grows, it goes.
Sunday night was the first night of Chanukah — the Festival of Lights — and the lighting of the first candle of the menorah. The Chanukah celebration is observed for eight nights and days, with a new candle being lit each evening.
I know all this because I was walking Moppit in Parque Juarez when I happened upon members of Chabad San Miguel de Allende lighting the community menorah in the park’s gazebo.
I missed most of the dedication, but I happened upon the gathering just as Rabbi Daniel Huebner was explaining the significance of this year’s menorah, created by artist Meila Penn.
She’s right, you know, my new friend from the housewarming party the other night: I haven’t written on the blog in a long time.
I owe you all an apology, if, indeed, you actually missed me.
If not, then, hi! Welcome (back) to my blog.
You know how these things happen — someone starts a blog and it goes great for a while, then a pandemic strikes, and life as we know it is suspended. So the writer begins writing interior monologues, surreal short stories, overly long recollections about that dream from last night, and, in the worst of cases, poetry.
San Miguel torch singer María Sánchez gave a stunning concert under the trees near Parque Juarez on Saturday, backed by the talent-rich Usual Suspects including Julián Arcos, Rubén Olivera, and Victor Monterrubio.
She is a wonderful singer for whom, my wife says, I carry a big crush. “He moans when she sings,” she tells friends.
Maybe so, on both accounts.
María Sánchez with her beautiful new granddaughter, Olivia, after her performance.
Her singing does something to me. I can’t deny it. But I am mature enough to separate the singer from the song, from the real person beneath it all. I think. I mean, I was wondering “What on earth is María Sánchez doing singing outside, and at 1 p.m.?” So my imagination does slip in through the backdoor when she sings.
In my mind, she is a torch meant to burn only in the night when the heart and soul are at their darkest and most lonely. Obviously, I do have fantasies about María Sánchez.
Rather than spoil her concert by trying to describe it, below is the story that wrote itself as I sat in the bright sunlight, listening to her sing. Any relationship to people living or dead is strictly coincidental. Blame it on mescal:Continue reading →