Friday, March 2, 2012

Good Morning, San Miguel

I can thank El Senor de la Conquista for the festivities that woke me out of a sound sleep way too early this morning. The drumming and dancing began last night with celebrants from a host of cities in the Mexican state of Guanajuato converging here in San Miguel de Allende. And the celebration continued long into the night (for all I know, it never stopped) and began anew with gusto at the crack of dawn. Even the highest-rated earplugs were no match.

From what I gather, there are two versions of how this festivity began. One version has it that in the late 1500s two human-sized figures honoring the Lord of the Conquest were made out of corn paste (Don't ask because I don't know) and carried to San Miguel and another town. The two Franciscan friars carrying these guys were attacked and killed. The friars were goners and so were the two figures - until they were later found by a group of Chichimeca Indians.

The other version of this ruckus festivity has it that the figures were found by a Chichimeca Indian and hidden in a cave, where they ostensibly still reside. The statues revered today are said to be replicas.

Whatever the version, suffice it to say that this is a wild and wooly time in San Miguel. If I weren't on meds for the typical intestinal parasite that lays thousands of travelers low, I might consider getting dressed and walking down to the plaza where hundreds of the celebrants have assembled. Maybe I'll find the will after a healthy breakfast and another round of pills.

What I can say for certain is that after returning home next week I will NEVER complain about noise again - not about the kids two houses down who scream and yell all summer afternoon, about the neighbors on the other side who put their stereo speakers on their back porch, about the gardeners who rev up their lawn mowers and leaf blowers too early on a Sunday morning . . .

No, I will relish these sounds as sweet background noises against which I can easily fall back asleep or read a book or enjoy the peace and beauty of my sedate Midwestern town where few if any folks would dare to bring out the drums at 5 a.m.

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