In my second week in Mexico I continued my stay in Chacala, a small beach town one hour north of Puerta Vallarta. I settled in to the rhythm of the place, finding my pace, slowing down and relaxing. Chacala is a sleepy town in many ways, one that caters to Mexican families who like to spend time on the beach for the weekend or special holidays such as “Semana Santa” (Holy Week) in early April. During holiday times, the beach front campground fills up with campers and whole families spend the weekend under umbrellas, or digging in the sand to make small pools for the kids to splash around in, and otherwise enjoying the festivities of being on the ocean.
My visit fell just in between Semana Santa and an earlier holiday and so I was glad I had a chance to experience a quiet, relaxing stay, with gentle walks along the beach, and simple pursuits- writing, hand washing laundry and hanging it to dry on the line, and cooking with local produce for simple, hearty meals. I also had the opportunity to share dinners and yoga and dance classes with new friends — Kathryn is a gifted NIA, Pilates and yoga teacher, who teaches classes in a palapa with the waves crashing to the shore in the background…heavenly — and Didi, a fun Canadian woman who had stories galore to share about her time trekking through Nepal and globe-trotting around the world.
In the middle of the week, Didi and I took an excursion to a neighboring town, San Pancho, for a mini-adventure. We met a friend (with whom we had shared an initial road trip from the airport the previous week) who invited us to stay at the hostel type house she was staying at so we could enjoy the change of pace here.
The house was truly charming. It was built in a style that is typical of the region- the kitchen is built with an indoor-outdoor feel, and large swatches of the wall open to the outdoors. Only the bedrooms and bathrooms were fully enclosed, enabling light and breezes from outside to waft in, and inviting conversations to lilt inside and outside. There were hammocks hanging in the outdoor patio area, and bird sounds could be heard throughout the house.
The main street was full of artisanal shops (including the chocolate shop I mentioned in a previous post), and on one side street we found a shop owned by a woman who designs and sews her own fashion line. It was fun to find pants that were bright and colorful, a floral striped print that made my heart sing.
Once we arrived back in Chacala, one of my favorite treats was to walk the beach at sunset. It was a town tradition where many people head to the beach to catch the sun as it dips toward the horizon. The ritual I learned about from Didi, originating in Greece, is that of making a wish toward the sun just as it “kisses” the water. This ritual was one I looked forward to as it punctuated the end of the day with possibilities and magic.
Toward the end of this second week, as I was preparing for my next destination, some new friends arrived. These were the facilitator and several participants of a wellness retreat called Selfistry to be led by Sarah Marshank at the Mar de Jade resort on the north side of Chacala. As there was a mutual connection through Kathryn, the final evenings of my stay included robust, communal meals with this entire “mini-tribe” of soulful, fierce women. We discussed the BIG questions (What is life all about? Why do we suffer? How can we live together on the planet, as a species, with more harmony and grace?)
I felt heartened by the ability of women, who after only briefly knowing each other, could connect along such honest and clear lines. This inspires me to believe that as we all individually pursue our yearnings- our paths of truth and courage- that we begin to attract like-minded souls who remind us that there is valor and beauty in these times that we live in. We are not alone. We are surrounded by our tribe, wherever on this earth we may roam.
So…what am I learning, as a nomad- a traveler of the world- free and open to possibilities?
I am learning that there is an edge for me. I am living in various forms of communal spaces which requires me to adjust my energy to ensure I take enough time to recharge my batteries with alone time.
I am learning how much I love sharing stories and philosophical conversations with other women where the goal is for everyone to win, grow and prosper.
I am learning to trust that I will be taken care of every step of the journey, and that new friends are just around the corner- willing to be found everywhere- if I simply open to receive them.
I am learning to enjoy the path of “ungroundedness” Moment by moment, I take the time to allow the reality of the past to dissolve and invite a new moment to emerge in front of me.
I am learning to embrace the mystery, and fragile innocence, of each day. And this feels like a sweet delicacy to me, this tasting of each moment, with its impermanence and grace, as a blessing to be savored and then released.
Originally published at medium.com