A Mexican man in Puerta Verilta, MX., advised me years ago, “Just be.” Now, here in San Miguel, I understand what he meant. Once you recognize the difference between “being” and “doing,” daily life takes on a new dimension.
When you can acknowledge and feel the difference, there are more opportunities for being. It’s almost, for a writer, just like grasping the difference between showing and telling.
When my husband and I were sitting on a concrete curb outside in the sunshine enjoying an ice cream cone near a Mexican market place by our rental house, and watching the happy throngs of Mexicans go by, no words were spoken, but I recognized and knew that we were “being,” not “doing.”
A similar “being” incident took place when I walked over to buy freshly squeezed orange juice. This is for sale on the busy Canal street by a stout man who has a table with a huge metal hand juicer. Instead of being inpatient because of his slow and methodical actions, I found myself in a “being” mode and what he was doing became fascinating. He would pull a handful of oranges from a basket, soak them, one by one, in a bucket of purifying water, and then, slowly each of the seventeen oranges he was to use in the bucket of the juicer. He would smile and I would return his smile.
Oh, the joy of being that also took place when my husband and I waited at a little, narrow café not expecting what would be one of the best hamburgers I’ve ever experienced. No doing. No rushing. Just relishing the subtle ingredients melting together in a unique way.
It’s rare to have these sweet “being” moments when there seems never to be an end of things to do back at the ranch with its demanding routines.
Perhaps it is being here in the atmosphere of the non-hurried ness in San Miguel. Pedestrians cross busy cobblestone streets safely because drivers stop to let us by in a gracious and smiling manner. Waiters patiently wait for us to finish our conversation and request the check. The check is never brought to the table until requested.
Appointments are fluid, easily changed while others may be strictly kept and folks arrive early, so early that some proprietors start the function if everyone has arrived .
Ex-pats return from the States remarking, “It’s so good to be home. Back in the states, there is too much rushing.”
There are many “being” lessons to be experienced in San Miguel.