Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Morning Communion in Puerto Vallarta

One morning, as I sipped my black coffee, I watched as a man gently walk down the edge of the Rio Cuale. He was shirtless, wearing faded jeans, a bright blue towel rested on one shoulder. He knelt down to the riverbed to wash his hands, then his face, wiping in a circle.

Walking back up the side of the river, he found a comfortable rock to sit and enjoy his breakfast. He unwrapped each corn leaf of the large tamale he carried along, so delicately, exposing his tasty meal. Bringing each bite to his face, he ate. There was no quickness, no rush. Only ease. Only stillness.

From the window, I watched and savored each bite with him, chewing the masa, feeling the grainy texture of the steamed corn meal. Was there a treasured piece of stewed chicken or pork inside? Was it made by a loved one or purchased on the street, I wondered.

Did he see the white crane hunting for her breakfast as he ate? She was there too.

Slowly, the tamale disappeared and I watched the man walk down to the river, kneel again to wash his hands, then face. Gently. Gently.

A communion with the river with each bite of food with a white crane and a stranger who watched and drank her coffee.

A perfect way to start the the day.

You can hear the sounds of the river, its swollen veins from recent storms, rocking and tossing along the rocks. Gushing and bubbling its sounds…greeting you, buenos dias…hello, good morning.


The next morning, I saw another man on the Rio Cuale. His head was shaven. Tank top and swimming trunks. Carefully, he found a rock and sat, lotus position. He faced the window where I watched. But then quickly moved to another rock, his back turned. Again lotus position. Within a couple of minutes, he moved again. What was he seeking? Temporary refuge from mosquitoes? There, that’s the one, the perfect rock. Again, assumed the position. Calm…only…

It wasn’t long before he moved again. Then finally left.

By Mai Brehaut

view of the rio cuale
me and biela

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