For the last five days I haven’t left the cabin except to go to the barn and split wood or drive to the mailbox to pick up the mail. It’s cold outside. But that’s not the real reason for my cloistered life. I’ve been reading some great books and poetry and am getting ready for my yearly workshop that I teach in Melaque, Mexico. I have what I think are going to be gifted students this year. They’re all creative, enthusiastic, funny and easy going. Also, like me, they all want their own room. I need my space and make a terrible roommate. Of course I snore. I also like to read late or watch Mexican TV or write until the wee hours. I also like to take my time to ease into the day when I get up. La Paloma Resort is the ideal place for all of us.
I was so lucky when about eight years ago a friend of mine, Judy Wise, was asked to teach a class there and couldn’t. She called me. I made arrangements and took her place. I wasn’t prepared for the tropical paradise that was there for me. The Bay of San Patricio, the ocean, the beautiful sunsets, the wonderful little shops and the Wednesday markets delighted me and my students.
The town is built around a Catholic Church and a square. The church is small but very magical. At one time a neon artist came through the town and put aqua blue neon around the cross on the top of the roof. Inside, Jesus has a neon halo above his head and Our Lady of Guadalupe is surrounded by different glowing colors that reflect on to the altar. It’s unexpected and wonderful at the same time. On the left wall, high up, is a huge Mexican mural that shows Saint Patrick chasing the snakes out of Melaque. I’ll never forget that mural. I’ve spent time with students at that church and also with Ron over the Day of the Dead a few years ago. My heart never leaves there even when I’m in the cold woods of the Northwest.
There is one grocery store in town and its name is “Hawaii”. Why “Hawaii”? I’ve never been able to find out. It’s small but has wonderful fresh mangos and papayas and also the best yogurt in the world. Trust me. I’m not a huge fan of yogurt but when I buy the local brand there I just can’t get enough of it. They carry an apple flavor that is to die for. My students love the cheeses and of course some of us yearn for the tequila. You can walk most anywhere in town and find so many surprises as you wander the streets it’s hard to take them all in at once.
Nancy and Richard Lennie own La Paloma and I’m so happy they came into my life. Nancy is a wonderful painter and teacher with a great sense of humor and Richard is a wonderful character that you could write a whole series of books about. Anyway, we’re almost there. My class starts on April 18th and it’s like coming home all over again. All of us are on the same plane with a short layover in Los Angeles. Then we land in Manzanillo and our adventure begins.