Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Procession

From our second story perch, we rested or read or drifted in and out of afternoon siestas while daily Sayulita life came and went, on the streets below us. It's neither quiet nor loud -- just life.

We don't even look up when a shrill burst of a trumpet blares from down below. Likely a passing car, with the volume cranked up. Then the single trumpet is, one by one, joined by a chorus of other horns. Crisp, clean and strong. I look at Nic, excited thinking about what it might be, it sounds like live music!

He shakes his head.

I sit. The horns overpower every other possible sound. No birds chirp, no babies cry, no motors hum, no other sound exists but their slow tune. I hop out of my seat to the balcony just to see.

"You guys." is all I can whisper over my shoulder.

The cobblestone street below us is a sea of silent people. All, slowly walking, down towards the sea -- to the playa de los muertos. All, intent on the road ahead and the cream colored Escalade that leads the procession. Behind this simple procession of people, behind the rickety truck carrying two walls of red and white roses, come the band. Shiny gold cowboy shirts, tan slacks, slicked hair and horns, belting with all their might the song that hushes the crowd (and tourists alike).

We sit in silence, observing theirs. It's breathtaking. An honest and personal moment, suddenly shared to all. A glimpse into someone else's life. A glimpse into someone else's death. No poetry to quote, I only had a cliche feeling of being "inextricably bound" to my neighbor in that moment. We talk of dia del los muertos, the comparatively ornate tradition of caring for the dead, the bittersweet belief that on that day the departed loved ones walk among us once more, and just the seemingly relative comfort with death that's distilled in hispanic cultures. It seems like it's not something to fear, but merely the passing of life, into...the next stage of that life, death.

(Very guiltily I sneak a couple photos after they've turned their heads so we'll remember this moment.) Sometimes, in the midst of travels and the desparate pursuit of relaxation, it's easy to forget that around you continuously swirls the lives of others in their own unique way...and long after you're gone, the dance continues.

1 comment:

lily said...

I miss reading your writing. Thanks for posting this.