Sunday, February 07, 2010
Intensity of the Commonplace
The sky was blue. The sun was warm. My heart just filled with joy as I passed shops and shared a "Buenos Dias" with people passing by. I stopped at Bonanza grocery store and it is so tiny compared to mega stores in the States but once again I marveled at the variety packed onto the shelves. A stop at the butcher shop provided a kilo of filete de res....nicely trimmed and perfect for dinner for some friends on Friday night. Now that I knew what the meat would be for dinner, I went on to the Ramirez Mercado for veggies.
I wish that I could explain the differences between shopping for food here in San Miguel and in Houston. Going to Kroger or HEB in Houston is just going to a grocery store but shopping here is a total sensory and emotional experience. I'm currently reading Barbara Kingsolver's book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle so I'm thinking about where my food comes from. I don't think that all that I buy here is organic or even that all of it is local but I do feel closer to the source than I do in the USA. I connect with a person, the vendor, with every potato or onion or slice of bacon that I buy. In the States my only connection with a person in the grocery store is with the checker when I'm leaving the store.
On Saturday I walked over to Parque Juarez to see and do some photography at the giant Spring flower market. I loved walking the winding paths in the parque past vines, flowers, herbs and shrubs and I loved the smell of garden dirt. I did do a bit of photography with the holga lens on the digital camera. One vendor had some snake plants but he only had one pot that matched the variety that I have in the patio garden. I bought it and he promised to have some more on Friday of this week.
Sometimes when we are in Houston, I think that maybe someday we might move back but then I think about the joy of doing such commonplace things as shopping for groceries or walking in the park here in San Miguel. These things in Houston do not have the intensity of doing them in San Miguel. My life would lose a lot of color. In fact, it might become quite pastel.