Thursday, November 02, 2006

day of the dead (dia de los muertos)

The day begins. Candles are lighted and incense is burning. Cold beer at my side.
This is, hands down, my favorite holiday. This is the day that souls are welcomed back into the living world for a brief visit. This is the time to remember loved ones.
In Mexico, children will be seen all over the place selling candy skulls. In cemeteries, families will have picnics and leave offerings of flowers and food for their dearly departed.
Fortunately, the import store where I work held a celebration last night in honor of the dead. Bread was broken, Sangria as well as margaritas consumed, costumes were worn and artists set up altars. Candles in abundance.
There was a year, I do remember exactly which one, when my wife and I were living in San Miguel de Allende. A friend of ours called and invited us to join her to walk to a couple of cemeteries.
“The souls are stirring,” she said.
Actually, the wind was high and I think I even remember some tumbleweeds rolling across the old cemetery that has raised and partially exposed coffins. The other, more prominent cemetery was a sea of flowers and later on, enough candles in an altar to give off the heat of a large chimney.
Anyway, after a few drinks at a local cantina, we made it back to our apartment shortly before midnight. I’m not making this up here. At the stroke of 12:00, the wind stopped. All was still. ¿Quien Sabe? (Who knows?)
¡Feliz Dia de Los Muertos!