Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The past 11 days............

What a whirlwind it has been! A trip to Uruapan for the Palm Sunday Market while staying in lovely Patzcauro. It was so much fun, as always, strolling the streets of Patzcauro and traveling to Ihautzio, Tzinzunzhan, Santa Clara de Cobre and seeing old friends. One of the highlights for me always is the tiny Friday market in the small plaza in Patzcauro. (I MUST scan in my photos of this market and some of the other highlights) I so love this market because it is small and the women are cooking in big cauldrons and the old women who come in from the surrounding villages are visiting with each other and buying things they need. They all dress in their native dress and you can tell what village they are from by the color of their rebozo which they use as a shawl, a bolsa for their purchases and/or items they have to sell, or a head covering when it gets too warm.
The Palm Sunday Market in Uruapan is one of my favorite markets also, but it is HUGE and is many, many of the artisans from all over the state of Michoacan. It is so big that it can be overwhelming if you haven't been before. It rivals Chichicastenango in Guatemala.
So, that was four days of the 11 and then upon returning all the Easter week (Semana Santa) processions and fireworks and church openings were going on.............it was as beautiful as always but there were more tourists this year then ever. Mostly Mexicans (estimated 20,000) and American photographers seemed to be the mix. These events are very sacred to the people of San Miguel but didn't seem to be treated that way by some of the photographers. It was disturbing.
On Saturday, the BIG 65 came along. A day I had at first wanted to celebrate in grand style with a trip to Greece and then I changed and wanted a big party but as the time drew near, I just wanted a quiet day. My son John was here and woke me with coffee and the most beautiful silver necklace! What a surprise - I was speechless (which seldom happens). It turns out that this is a traditional necklace with silver fish, red beads and silver beads that I have loved for at least 15 years but never thought I would have one. The master who makes these is ancient and I always thought he would die before I could get one............I'm thrilled. It's exquisite. I have three books on the crafts of Mexico with pictures of this work and even the process for casting the silver fish. If the books are to be believed, they have made this necklace in various forms for over 500 years. (Needless to say, I wore it to lunch and to a party that night). The day continued to be great with a delicious lunch and cocktail party at a friend's home.
Easter Sunday again was delightful - friends for lunch. Good conversation, lots of laughter and tasty ribs cooked by John. Everyone brought a dish and it was the easiest lunch I have ever hosted.
So now the crowds are gone, the fireworks are over, the church bells are silent and we should have a couple of months of tranquility. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed all of the above but tranqulity and calm is good too. After all, I AM older now.

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