I am back home, wrapped in four blankets to try and get warm. I keep having shiver attacks and wishing we had hot water.
At eleven last night, I woke to check the clock. The power went out. I stayed awake, waiting for it to come back on and then had to re boot the computer to find out the time......wide awake.
I woke at one-thirty when the cat wanted out.....wide awake.
Last night I told Senor to wake me at three.......he said, how?......we laughed...................still he managed to pull it off by shaking the bed as he snored..................wide awake........................and out the door at three thirty am.
I stopped at the stable long enough to get this pretty shot and to make sure the flash was working okay. I decided to leave the flashlight behind and take the camera instead.As I sat on the curb across the street from the Pemex, waiting for my friends, I watched the crowds begin to walk. Lots and lots of young people, late teens, early twenties, laughing, getting hot coffee in the OXXO, lots of shawl wrapped old women, and mothers pushing baby strollers, huge families, all headed to La Aduana, at breakneck speed.
I could not figure out why they were moving so fast and hoped when my friends got there, the pace for us would not be like that.
But it was, it was very brisk and even faster uphill than down. I kept wondering about this, unzipping my fleece to cool off, removing my gloves and stuffing them in my back pack.
Finally it was clear to me. Many of these walkers needed to get there, pay their respects to the Lady of Balvanera, and hurry and get back home to go to work, to school, to cook desayuna, tend to the animals, the house and so on and so on.................
By KM Two my nose was running, by KM Three, an old soccer injury was screaming at me to slow down, and when we hit the arroyo, in the dark, I started wishing I had left the camera behind and brought the flashlight.
KM Four brought soft sand and with every step I sank deeper and deeper. Other sections of the arroyo were filled with rocks the size of softballs and the four of us girls locked arms to keep each other from falling. We laughed as we realized we were unable to walk in a straight line.
There was something remarkable about locking arms like that, something hard to explain. It did allow me to catch a few glimpses of the brilliant stars overhead, but it also just felt good. It was what made up for any language barriers that existed. It was just a wonderful way to walk.
By walking so fast, we made very, very good time and reached La Aduana in a little over two hours.
The deer dancers were in front of the small Nuestra Senora de la Balvanera and the flash I had so carefully set back at the house would not work. While it is difficult to really see the photos, had the flash worked I would have been absolutely embarrassed. It was a very sacred dance and my camera must have known that.
Inside the church we paid our respects to the Lady of Balvanera and sat and people watched. My friends and I saw a lot of people we knew. I did see two other foreigners, but it felt very good to have Mexican friends come and say hello, it made me feel very welcome at this special fiesta.