Lost in the Barrio

I am a guest right now at a very exclusive spa in Mexico. My friend, Donna Sternberg, has a dance company that will be presenting her latest choreography here this week, and her company members are teaching dance to the guests. She gets to bring someone to accopany her for free, and I’m the lucky one this year. I’ve been stunned by beauty and luxuriousness. This place is acres and acres of gorgeous garden with cottages here and there and spa facilities everywhere.

Today I got turned around, a very common experience for me, and managed to get very lost. I found myself at the back of everything where all of the many workers who keep up the grounds, cooks, maids and such have quarters. There were fences everywhere and I could not find my way out. It was like its own village but messy, smelled bad, and nothing was growing or thriving there. The more I wandered the more lost in it I seemed to get.

By the time I finally found my way through dust and withered weed-covered trails back to the grounds where the flowers and people glowing in relaxation and contentment were I saw all of this beauty differently. A lustre came off of it. I have been enjoying myself very much, but this experience shook me up. I’m easing my way back into just accepting and appreciating the gift that this experience is, but am reminded of the shadow it creates. Working at an orphanage outside of Nairobi in Kenya next month will be more of the same. It is a challenge to be grateful for gifts and privilege while staying very present to all sides of these equations.

In my shaken state, I looked up at the bright blue sky, big fluffy clouds, heard the birds and felt the wind and realized what I am enjoying the most here actually belongs to all of us. This is true and comforting.

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