Christmas in San Miguel

Another Christmas has arrived in San Miguel. My diet relapses to cookies, chocolates and sweets. A week from now, I’ll be craving lettuce and vinegar. My eyes are dazzled by the fun, tacky lights and pinatas hanging in the streets. I watch as holiday vendedores pop up like weeds on the sidewalk in order to sell the essentials of Christmas posadas – fruits, dulces, nuts. I wait and I wait and I wait in the traffic of Northern tourists and Mexicans arriving home from the States – bolsas full of money, hearts full of joy as they visit their abuelos, papas, hermanos and ninos. I witness families – the children outfitted with angel wings and gifts in hand – as they rush the sidewalk on their way to yet another posada. I surrender to the memories of my own childhood Christmases – shedding a tear for what was and feeling the joy of Mexican children as they experience their Christmas. I attend a Christmas chorale. I attend a mass. I receive the sacrament. I quietly let my gaze rest upon the image of Guadalupe and she comforts my pain, my longing, and my heart with her pure, undying compassion. I share that compassion as I press a coin into the palm of a blanketed mother and child, chilled by the night, petitioning mercy in their eleventh hour on the sidewalk. I arrive home after spending another day in the pueblo – grateful for the abundant and intangible gifts I have received this day. And, once again, I feel warmth and fullness in my soul. I feel love.