I’ve been in San Miguel seven weeks today. The end of March appears to be a time of exodus for winter visitors from the northeast and the mid-west. My visit includes Easter. That means I can enjoy San Miguel for another three weeks.  

I came to San Miguel on an artistic retreat. The retreat began with the San Miguel Writers’ Conference where I charged my creative batteries and fueled me desire to write. I’ve kept up the creative momentum by making a space each day for writing. Free of the distractions of my day-to-day life at home, I have  achieved the goals I set.

I could live full time in San Miguel. It would be easy. But, full-time residence might spoil its charm making it commonplace. Becoming too familiar with a place, we fail to see it. Short visits are better.

A hidden treasure of San Miguel is found in the people I meet and the friends I make. “Magic” is the word most often used to describe the essence of the San Miguel experience. San Miguel friendships are part of the magic. Meet someone, make a friend. Soon there are many friends who are a pleasure to know. Each one is a new facet of the jewel box that is San Miguel.

Julio, Abraham, and Octavio, brothers who own Bagel Cafe, have become friends. I stop at Bagel Friday mornings. I buy a copy of Atención from the vendor at the entrance. I read it while enjoying my favorite San Miguel breakfast: chilaquiles rojos. I have lunch there at least once a week to enjoy gaspacho and the vegetarian Rueben sandwich. Nothing like it in the world. It is my pleasure to support the brothers’ business.

San Miguel is a friendly place. The downside is the speed at which time passes. Too soon it is time to say “good-bye” to the friends I’ve made. The pleasure of new fiends brings with it the sadness of saying “good-bye.” I’ve spent the past ten days saying “good-bye” to friends I’ve made in the short time I’ve been in San Miguel.

“Good-bye. Until next year” is a wish. It suggests recreating the magic we’ve enjoyed being together this year. But, these holidays are unique. They cannot be recreated. Each one is a moment to live and to enjoy as it is.

My new friend Rachel and I had breakfast two days before she left. After breakfast, we walked to the Jardin. Rachel hugged me warmly. “Hasta,” she said. “Until.”

0 thoughts on “Until

  1. marie

    What a joyful, yet, melancholy posting, Dennis. I felt like we were sharing a delicious meal at Bagels and conversing with the brothers in Spanish. What a fabulous yearly event for you,
    Fondly, Marie

  2. Joan Raymond


    As much as you would love to live there full-time, it would lose that special charm that you seek each year. You need to keep San Miguel as that special get-away, the place you long for in your heart, which the writer and adventurer in you needs.

    Sounds like you have enough memories to hold onto until you go back again next year.

    Great post.

  3. Annis

    Dennis, I am smiling — and choking back the tears. Your heartfelt post brings bittersweet memories; you know how much I love and miss San Miguel and the friends we connect with while there. Hasta, indeed. xoA

    1. Dennis VanderWerff Post author

      Yes, dear Annis, a bittersweet day. It is as if someone pulled a plug or turned a switch. And, as if to underscore the absence, I appear to be the only remaining inhabitant of Animas 8.


  4. Janet Skibinski

    Your blog and photos are so lovely. I smiled all the while viewing the children’s parade. Everything about San Miguel looks and sounds so charming and wonderful. I hope one day to join you and Annis.

    I miss you and look forward to seeing you soon.
    Janet xo

  5. Sally Eimer

    What a beautiful blog. I am so happy for this joyful place for you where you have made treasured friends. Keep basking in San Miguel!


  6. Anke Hodenpijl

    I have been ghost-enjoying your blogs (until now). I am feeling a bit melancholy myself, feeling like I am also saying good-bye to San Miguel. Your photography and words have been inspiring. I want to go too.

    Enjoy my friend,

    1. Dennis VanderWerff Post author

      Speaking of ghosts, it is as if someone pulled a plug or turned a switch on March 31. The Jardin is empty. I am the sole occupant of my pension. Major festivities this week-end, though. Sunday is El Senor de la Columna, a procession from the Sanctuary of Atontonilco to San Juan de Dios in San Miguel. I will be out early in the morning to take photos. Stand by. Dennis


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *