I went out this afternoon. I turned the corner and followed the familiar route past the hospital and the family that sells the most beautiful plants and flowers. I sidestepped my way through traffic and made it to the pedestrian street.
It was here that I paused for a moment.
Spending a year in San Cristobal was a privilege. That fact is not lost on me. Learning more about Mexico as a whole through the perspective of this beautiful, little slice of it has changed me. A lot has changed in the year that I’ve been here, both within Chiapas and myself. That’s really all I can ask from any experience.
So as I went out today I did so without my camera. I thought about taking one last photo of the cathedral, finally taking a snap of Sun Dog, the dun-colored mongrel who always manages to find the sunny parts of Guadalupe Street and avoid the feet of the passing tourists, or the little patio at La Lupe, where I’ve eaten way too many tacos al pastor.
Wait. Scratch that. You can never eat too many tacos al pastor.
So I walked. I looked at the tourists who had likely just dropped their bags at the hostel and planted their feet on Guadalupe Street, wondering which church to head for first. I smiled. I remember how that felt. San Cristobal grabs you in an embrace that says, “Look at me. I’m beautiful, but look too long and you’ll never be able to look away.”
That’s what happened to us.
But in some deep recess of my often confused soul, I knew that our time here was a waiting one. A small break of sorts. And while I don’t necessarily believe in callings in the way that others do, I think we were called here, then told to wait.
And wait we did. We waited and the thing we wanted came to us.
So I bought my taxi ticket for my journey to the airport tomorrow. I walked a bit more and passed the shoeshine boys and selfie-stick Pablo. I passed the small group of protestors who are slowly rebuilding their camp in front of the cathedral, the one that was dismantled for the Pope’s visit back in February. Everything was how it’s always been here in San Cristobal, for the most part.
And that’s when I got a little misty.
We’ve changed so much here, yet here has changed very little.
So as I put the final touches on my packing I can only hope that something, anything, changes here in Chiapas, so when we come back through this area we aren’t forced to skip it because things are still the same.
Because when I leave for the airport tomorrow it will just be getting light, but I know I still won’t be able to look away.