Friday, February 1, 2013

Mexico, Chapter One

How quickly that churning feeling in my stomach can turn into boiling excitement, that angular brick in my throat can melt into honey, and the fear of not knowing transforms into effortless flow. Travelling reaffirms the goodness that comes with letting go, and while surrounded by all things foreign, I rediscover the partnership between acts of faith and grace.

I spent my first week in Mexico camping in the jungle near Palenque at a Gathering that drew people from around the world. We swam in the river, hiked, and sat around by camp fires exchanging our stories, our songs, and our cultures. 

I met a woman, Kristen, who homesteads with her family in the Yukon of Alaska. I've been particularly interested in this area since Eve Grace, a professor of political theory from my collegiate days, spilled tales of homesteading and killing bears as a child there. Kristen favors moose-hunting and gets her kids to school via dog-sled in the winter. 

An immediate sisterhood forms between women who share in the unique and often unintended consquences of an off-the-grid lifestyle. Immediate laughter ensues when realizing you both spend time out-smarting and celebrating the perdicaments of your life. Inevitable bonding occurs around things like,
-the frozen toilet seat in the outhouse
-the excitement of a sunny day-- the vacuum, the blender, and all things electric, can be used liberally
-the time needed to build a fire in order to heat water before taking a hot shower (and the way the pump always seems to break when your hair is all bubbles and suds)
-the various containers to pee into when trying to avoid exposing your bum to sub-zero conditions
-the way that winter is often the only time to travel because it's when plants and baby goats allow it

Being a woman, and wanting to feel like a woman while surrendering to this absolutely beautiful and sometimes all consuming lifestyle is a complicated matter. Meeting women from other parts of the world with shared experiences brings camaraderie to a part of my life that is somewhat isolating. And it reminded me of the friends I have at home. We pass our little homesteading secrets and catastrophes back and forth like treasures. 

1 comment:

  1. I've been to all the places you talk of and post pictures of. I only hope to return to some of them.