South of San Miguel, out in the campo, over bridges and through a dark and dusty tunnel is a little village that is well known for a having a very old, very large tree.
For some time I have been meaning to visit and take some pictures, yesterday I did just that.
Before I tell you about my visit, let me share the picture I finally made.
Sabino de la Huerta
The enjoyment you get out of life is not simply a matter of what happens to you , but more a matter of your reaction to what happens to you. For more years than I can remember, whenever Shannon and I took a wrong turn, we wouldn't say we were lost, we would say we were "having an adventure"
Many years ago, when we first moved to Patzcuaro, and my Spanish was more textbook that typical usage, I was heading into town on some errand. Our neighbor, a charming Mexican lady, was heading to town also so I gave her a lift. Keep in mind that I was new, the roads were new to me, and my neighbor and I were new to each other. Surprise, surprise! I took a wrong turn. Me being a person of habit, turn to my passenger and say in Spanish that we were going to have an "aventura " .
Little did I know that in addition to my intended meaning, in Spanish for that word also meant a "romantic affair". Lucky for me she had a good sense of humor.
So, back to yesterday. While driving out to visit the tree with my friend Emma, I took a wrong turn, and a new adventure begins.
Enter Don Cruz and his family! They, like many in the area are basket weavers, as we sit and chat, his nephew is busily demonstrating their craft.
The nephew of the clan, nimble fingers at work
In addition to baskets, Don Cruz likes to weave a story or too, perhaps some of them are tall tales even.
He is a man who has honed his story telling over many decades , as he talks , his hands dance more than those of his nephew weaving baskets. His voice rises, falls and skips around the words. He tells of the time he first traveled to a beach, for the sole purpose of seeing the girls there that he has heard so much about. We learn about his time picking oranges north of the border when there was an immigration raid. Many ran and were caught, he just climbed the tree and hid there. As he explained to me “ I was comfortable, in the shade, plus with the oranges I had both food and drink. I find his Spanish very challenging, some of his stories I miss points and details but I hesitate to break the spell by interrupting.
85 years, a million stories
If you get a chance to meet Don Cruz, ask to hear his story about the governor and the pistol, or maybe the one about the Spaniard and the girl from Reynosa, or of the time he met Stirling Dickinson, trust me, you will not regret it!
Almost as much fun was watching his kindly wife watch us as she listened to the stories for the umpteenth time, a wry smile bubbling up as she anticipated a punch line or a twist in the story approaching, bursting into laughter with us in spite of knowing all the endings.
True love is laughing at the same story a hundred times!
I truly enjoyed visiting the tree and getting the picture that I have wanted for some time, but I know I will value my visit with Don Cruz much longer than the picture I took that day.
Maybe you might like to share your “wrong turn “ story in the comments, I would love to hear it!