It’s been a whirlwind week. I guess the holidays always are, for most people; but this Christmas stood out from the rest on the busy scale. My godsister is here, which has been a blast. She’s one of my best friends, craziest girlfriends, and favorite buddies when it comes to having an adventure. It’s her first time out of the States (besides a quick trip to Canada to see my grandparents, which doesn’t really count), and she’s having a blast riding tuk-tuks, taking the dangerously crowded ferries, and watching Fuego, the active volcano visible from our front yard, explode violently every fifteen minutes or so. Her eyes are wide open in wonder at everything she sees. She’s jumped straight into the fray of third-world life and is swimming like a fish.
It’s been interesting to watch her. To be honest, I envy her, a little bit. It seems like no matter how hard I try to keep my eyes open, my senses busy taking in every moment; no matter how hard I try to keep a sense of wonder, I always end up falling into a routine. I knuckle down with my articles or teaching, juggle interesting projects, and forget to live in the moment. No matter where I am, the novelty wears off to a degree after a few weeks, and what was once an exciting adventure (say, taking the boat to San Pedro for the market) becomes routine. I guess the trick is in finding things to appreciate about the routine. I’m getting there.
Then again, there’s never a dull moment here, even when things are sliding into a routine! I’ve taken a few weeks off work to invest in family time, and life instantly got more interesting:
Biscuit, the street dog who adopted us, surprised us this week by becoming very pregnant. We get a few earthquakes a week (always very exciting, but never serious), and Fuego is ever “burping” gigantic ash clouds into the sky. San Marcos is especially vibrant over the holidays. Every night, wanderers and expats alike make their way next door to Del Lago, the hippie hangout/amazing hostel that acts like a black hole come nightfall… sucking in the music lovers, Bailey’s drinkers, story-tellers, drum makers, and people who’ve long ago forgotten what a bath feels like. Once everyone is collected, stuffed into corners and along benches, sipping their drinks and slapping dogs away from heaping plates of papas fritas, the musicians start. It’s (almost) always good music. We have many talented guitarists here, a few good singers, a flutist, me with my fiddle, more drums than I care to count, played at various levels of ability (Tor, the drum aficionado in town, grumbles that they sound like rain on a tin roof… no beat whatsoever), and I think I heard a random trombone the other night. Odd.
Mixed in with the good music is the loud snapping and whistling of firecracker after firecracker and the shouts of children running out of the way. Add to that the sounds of dogs in states of pandemonium incited by the fireworks, and you’re hearing Christmas in San Marcos.
We lit off a few fireworks of our own. Well, the boys did. I sat on the porch and prayed that we reach the end of the year with the full number of fingers intact. I’m a wimp, I know.
Christmas is over now, having come and gone faster than seems right. Randomly, Christmas is annoying where music is concerned. We musicians get one month to practice all the Christmas songs, and then we get one or two days to use them before storing them back in the attics of our minds for next year. Then again, I suppose it’s a good thing. One month of Christmas music is about all I can take.
We’re off to Copan next. Never a dull moment. Also, today is the day I stop counting down for William’s arrival. He’s on a plane as I write this, speeding towards North America. I think I kind of skipped over being excited for Christmas in my excitement for today. It’s incredible, how much more… alive, I suppose… how much more alive I feel when he’s here, having adventures with me. I have a feeling today is going to be torturously long.
Merry Christmas to you all! I may not post again until the New Year, as I’ll be completely offline until then, but you can expect pictures from Copan!
By the way, Feeling Good, Nina Simone. It accurately sums up my emotions this morning. Have a listen!