Monday, April 16, 2012

The Spring Equinox in San Miguel de Allende-March 21, 2012

Enjoy some photos of our Spring Equinox celebration:

Hola and Felices Primavera,

I would like to share with everyone the way we celebrated the Spring Equinox this year in San Miguel. A half hour's hike from our casa is an amazing Botanical Garden known as El Charco de Ingenio. Set in the heart of the central highlands, this nature reserve covers more than 300 acres adjacent to our town of San Miguel de Allende. It is the result of a nongovernmental initiative, begun in 1990, to rescue and protect a treasured area benefiting and open to all sectors of the community. It is committed to the restoration and conservation of it's native econsystems. In 2004 it was proclaimed a Peace Zone by the visiting Dalai Lama.

Each Spring members of the community are invited to join a local shaman to celebrate Spring and the four directions, East,West, North and South. An impressive ceremony is held in the center of a big stone plaza built for such occasions. Flower seeds are blessed and thrown in a fire, and the winds carry our blessings for the Spring planting. At the conclusion of the ceremony we are all invited to walk along the small pathways down to a deep Canyon surrounding a wetland. Along the way, are tables set up with small pottery cups filled with mescal, a native drink made from the Maguey plant, and we are invited, for a small donation to El Charco, to imbibe. We find a place amongst the rocks and settle down for a concert. Two years ago when we participated, we had the pleasure of hearing a very famous Opera Star from Mexico City perform excerpts from many well known operas. This year the limelight was on an internationally known pianist. As unbelievable as it seemed, they actually managed to get the piano carried down the trails and over the rocks to sit perched on a precarious landing. Very impressive. We enjoyed the company of a delightful French woman, Fran├žoise and her Mexican husband, sitting near us as we all anticipated the concerts' beginning. Music started, we settled into our hard seating and fell mesmerized into a dream like state---no, we didn't drink too much mescal, but admittedly it probably helped us to relax. As I sat there, my eyes perused the crowd of people sitting below, above and beside, young Mexican families, teenage lovers, old lovers, gringos and Mexicans alike. It is a time of community and interconnectedness as we reflect on the new season and watch birds soaring above and time slips by and music collides with the setting sun.

I hope you enjoy the photos and can imagine yourself there next Spring. We know we will be back. I'll add a few more photos of El Charco's treasures, the extensive botanical collection of cactus and other native Mexican species, which are rare and in danger of extinction. Many of these plants have been collected from different parts of the country. Enjoy---disfruta!


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