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.”